Debunking Myths: 5 things to know about Art Therapy
What is Art Therapy?
The technique through which art is used as a medium to explore thoughts and emotions. It helps to reduce and resolve anxiety and stress. Art Therapy fosters self esteem and enhances social skills.
Art Therapy is often misunderstood. Let’s debunk 5 myths about Art Therapy.
Art therapy is for Artists.
Art therapy doesn’t require you to be an artist. No prior artistic skill or experience is needed. In Art therapy, art is used as a process to analyse your thoughts, emotions and conflicts. It doesn’t focus on the finished product but the creative process.
Art therapy is like an Art class, where you learn to make art.
Art therapy does involve the process of creating art but its focus is not to make art or create beautiful objects. It deals with getting your intangible mental state to a tangible form. Art during art therapy is used as a tool to reach therapeutic goals.
Anyone good in art can call themselves art therapists.
Art therapy is an established career for over 50 years now. Art therapy programs are nationally accredited. Art therapists are master level clinicians and they have advanced training in psychotherapy, art processes etc.
Art therapy is for people who cannot verbally express themselves.
Art therapy is beneficial while working with clients who have physical or mental illnesses like dementia, autism, Alzheimer’s etc, but it is also equally beneficial for anyone else. Taking art therapy as the non-verbal approach is a mistake.
You will have to make art during every art therapy session.
Not every therapy session is involved in art making. An art therapist is also a trained psychotherapist, therefore they can also integrate verbal approaches to therapy – for example guided meditation, breathing exercise. Some sessions may be devoted to problem-solving skills like creating daily schedules, removing layers of fear or building of life skills.