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Art Psychotherapy Practice (or Art Therapy)

Art Psychotherapy (interchangeably known as Art Therapy) is a psychotherapeutic intervention which uses art making and creativity to support the therapeutic process. Within this context, art is not used as a diagnostic tool but as a bridge for addressing emotional issues which may be confusing to address verbally. Art Psychotherapists are psychoanalytically trained, which means they can encourage individuals to self-reflect over the process of art making, what they have made, and how it makes them feel. Through exploring the creative experience, individuals can look for themes and conflicts that may be affecting their thoughts, emotions, and behaviours.

Art and creative therapies may be helpful if you find it difficult to put your thoughts and feelings into words. They can help with addressing painful feelings or experiences including experiences of trauma. Through utilising the creative process, individuals can explore self- expression in a safe, contained space with a trained professional. Art Therapy encourages both the left and right hand sides of the brain to be engaged, which helps to process and integrate creativity with logical thinking. Through this process it can be possible to find new ways to gain personal insight and develop new coping skills.

Approach

Although influenced by psychoanalysis, art therapists have been inspired by theories such as attachment-based psychotherapy and have developed a broad range of client-centred approaches such as psycho-educational, mindfulness and mentalization-based treatments, compassion-focussed and cognitive analytic therapies.

Art therapists work with children, young people, adults and the elderly. Clients may have a wide range of difficulties, disabilities or diagnoses. These include emotional, behavioural or mental health, learning or physical disabilities, life-limiting conditions, neurological conditions and physical illnesses.

Art therapy is provided in groups or individually, depending on clients’ needs. It is not a recreational activity or an art lesson, although the sessions can be enjoyable.

Clients do not need to have any previous experience or expertise in art.

Art Therapists may also incorporate music, drama and expressive therapy into their work.

For more information on art therapy, please contact our Art Therapist, Erin, by emailing erin@victoriatherapycentre.co.uk or calling 07754 935314.