Art Psychotherapy is a creative, therapeutic tool that uses art media (clay, crayon, paints etc) to help the client express thoughts and feelings derived from the unconscious so that they become conscious. It allows for what the person is experiencing internally to be externalised in a safe, non judgemental environment.
Art therapy is useful for clients of all ages. It is especially helpful for people who often find it difficult to express their emotions and thoughts verbally, or who are unaware of their feelings and a disconnection between their head and heart has occured. It is a wonderful way to transfer memories out onto a page, for connection and processing.
There is no need for any artistic ability. Art Psychotherapy is not about creating something aesthetically pleasing, so stick figures and squiggles are perfectly fine.
Once the client has finished creating their artwork it is held up at a distance and observed by both client and therapist. The client is then asked "what do you see?" without interpretation from the therapist.
Through this process of observing their art work, the clients can connect words with their thoughts, feelings and memories. An opportunity to modify the art work often arises, allowing transformation and healing to take place.
When expression has been able to flow through the art psychotherapy process, the client experiences more connection to self, feels balanced and calm, and has a greater understanding of their inner experiences.