What is art therapy?
Art therapy will look different for each person engaging with it. A lot of times an art therapist will give some sort of prompt or directive to help the client have a little bit more direction when they begin working. Some people need more guidance and others jump into creating. We will spend time creating and then allow time to process whatever images come up during our work together.
Do I need to be an artist to find art therapy helpful?
Art therapy can be helpful for anyone who is interested or willing to engage with their creative side. The process is not so much about making a beautiful piece of art that is ready to be hung in a gallery. The important piece of art therapy is the process of creating and allowing yourself to explore. Is art therapy just for kids? Kids have a natural affinity for using their creativity as a way to express themselves. Adults have the same ability but might need to be reminded. As adults, we spend a lot of time using our left brain as a way to analytically problem solve. There is a lot of healing and insight that can occur just by reconnecting with the creative and curious side of ourselves as adults.
Does an art therapist interpret what is created during an art therapy session?
It is up to the client to put meaning to their own creations. An art therapist does not interpret but will point out themes, ask questions, and notice when a client creates something that might seem out of the ordinary.
Are adult coloring books art therapy? Coloring and creating in general can feel therapeutic in that it can alleviate stress and anxiety. Art therapy encourages clients to use the creative process as a way to find meaning or symbolism visually.
What materials do you use?
Almost any material may be used during art therapy sessions. A lot of it depends on what the client would like to use. At The Awakening Center we have access to materials like oil pastels, chalk pastels, paint, markers, crayons, watercolors, clay, sculpture, collage, crochet, and many more. If there is something that a client would like to use they could bring their own materials to work with as well.
What do we do with the creations once they are made?
It is a client’s preference what is done with their work. The Awakening Center can store work if it feels too vulnerable to be taken home or a client can take their work at any time.
Is it helpful to bring down anxiety?
Creating art does often bring down anxiety when materials and directives are chosen to do that. However, using imagery can bring up some deep and unconscious feelings. The art therapist is aware of how different directives might bring up different feelings and can help a client navigate them when they come up.
Do we make art during every session? This really depends on what the client feels will be most helpful. There are days when a client might feel the need to only create and stay away from using words to process. There are also sessions where a client might choose to only verbally communicate.