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What is Art Therapy

Short meditation

Painting and making art, like meditation, are ways to connect to our inherent health, our basic goodness. This is not something we have to strategize or fabricate. We cultivate our wholeness. We bring our senses of uncertainty along. Healing has to do with allowing all the aspects of ourselves to be there, without judging ourselves. Healing through the arts is for all of us, not just for the chronically and acutely ill, because healing is far more than clinical. It is not about "fixing" a person who is wounded and hospitalized, rather it is for anyone who is desensitized or ignorant about their heart, their senses, their creativity, they spontaneity, their playfulness, and their relationship to the earth and the cosmos. Healing occurs when we are attentive, absorbed, involved, and in tune with our experience and the world inside and around us. (Marek, 2001)

What is art therapy?

Art therapy is a therapeutic approach based on non verbal, symbolic and visual self expression. This approach uses the technique of free association in combination with various art forms as a creative vehicle to access the unconscious and allow it to express and communicate through images, colours and forms.

By bringing a client to a place where mindfulness can begin, art therapy invites a person to slow down, focus inward and reflect on themselves. By awakening one to mindfulness, art making may allow them to uncover hidden aspects of themselves, then look at them in the art, and understand how they have influenced their present experience in the world. Once a person is able to see their issues for what they are, they can move from being fragmented to whole, from unconscious to conscious. The process of art therapy can allow a person to become free from their past and live more fully in the present.

How can art therapy be useful?

When it is difficult to verbally communicate thoughts, feelings or sensations or/and express and channel emotions.

What is the role of an art therapist?

During an art therapy session, there's also a time for sharing experiences and insights with the art therapist who invites the clients to express into words what they have lived and produced during the creative process.

Who can benefit from art therapy?

Children, teenagers, adults and elderly who experienced losses, traumas, illnesses, life transitions and etc.

Do you need to have a problem to do art therapy?

No, art therapy is also for anyone who would to like to develop their creativity, discover news facets of their personality or better understand themselves through the creative process.

Do you need to have experience in art to do art therapy?

No, in art therapy the aesthetic aspect of the art works is not important. What matters are the creative process, the therapeutic relationship and the investment of each one in their work as well as their feelings and experiences.

Emmanuelle Plattet DVATI

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