What is Art Therapy?
Art Therapy is a mental health profession in which clients, facilitated by the Art Therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.(American Art Therapy Association).
In addition Art Therapy can provide great tools to manage long or short term stress and improve self awareness. You don’t need to be talented artist to discover the healing ability of Art. Art Therapy is used in many ways by Art Therapists in variety of settings, which may include hospitals, counseling practices, rehabilitation centers, schools, and Adult living facilities to name a few.
What is an Art Therapist?
Art Therapists are trained as clinicians and have an in depth knowledge of both psychology and Art. They are required to have completed at least a Masters in the field. Certifications may vary depending on which state you located, In Illinois after completing a Masters Degree and two years of supervised training you are able to apply to become a Registered Art Therapist (ATR). Many Art Therapists in the State of Illinois are also Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors (LCPC) which is the State License given to Master Level Counselors in Illinois and requires passing of two state exams and continuing education to be maintained.
How do Art Therapists Work?
Art Therapists vary in their approach to therapy, but they all utilize the art process to help foster self expression and growth. In working with each individual the art therapist may suggest a particular medium based on a person’s goals or interest. Individuals may work on art alongside the therapist during a therapy session or work on art outside of the office and bring it in to be discussed with therapist after its partial or full completion.
In contrast to Art Education the goal of Art Therapy is in the process not the end result. The Art therapist’s goal is to serve as a catalyst to change in the individuals they support. They use the art process to help accomplish this task. This may result in a beautiful piece of art, but is not true goal.
Who Can Benefit from Art Therapy?
Art Therapists work with children and adults across all phases of life. Art therapy can be done individually, or with couples, families, and groups. Art therapy requires no artistic talent or training.
How do I get started in Art Therapy?
Meeting with an art therapist for an initial evaluation is the first step. In this visit the Art Therapist gathers information about you, what brings you in for therapy. They will then help determine what style and focus of therapy will be most beneficial. To request an initial evaluation, fill out or contact form here, or give us a call.