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Art Therapy

Art Therapy is a form of Psychotherapy that uses art media, as its primary mode of communication. People who come for Art Therapy need not have previous skill or experience in art; the Therapist is not primarily concerned with making an atheistic or diagnostic assessment of the person’s image. The overall aim is to enable a person to effect change and growth on a personal level through the use of the art materials in a safe and facilitating environment. Art Therapy is based on psychodynamic principles. The art work can hold many levels of meaning and it is the person who explores this, supported by the Therapist.

The relationship between the Therapist and the person in therapy is of central importance, but Art Therapy differs from other psychological therapies in that it is a three way process between the person, the Therapist and the image or artefact.

Briefly the fundamental principles of Art Therapy are that:

  • Visual image making is an important aspect of the human learning process.
  • Art made in the presence of an Art Psychotherapist may enable a person to get in touch with feelings that can not easily be expressed in words.
  • The art can act as a ‘container’ for powerful emotions.
  • It may be a means to communicating between the person and the Therapist.
  • Children who find it difficult to play can gain confidence to do so through experimenting with art materials in the safe confines of the Art Therapy session.

Briefly the fundamental principles of Art Therapy are that:

Art Therapy can be used by any age group and can support people of all abilities, including:

  • People who have difficulty in communicating their underlying conflicts or preoccupations verbally.
  • People who display a strong need to express or channel their emotions.
  • People who are motivated to gain an insight into their emotional experiences.
  • People who display a need to channel and contain constructively their thoughts, energy and attention. ·
  • People who require an ‘emotional space’ within which they can explore their internal world, and who need to develop psychologically.


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