What Is Art Therapy?

Art Therapy - by Penny Carroll 


If you struggle to articulate your feelings, try drawing them. Art Therapy is about expressing emotion without words. Instead you explore your inner world through sculpture, painting, drawing or collage. 

You don't have to be artistic to benefit. "With artists the end product is important, but with art therapy it's the process that is important," Dr Jo Kelly, president of the Australian and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association, says.

The creative process engages different parts of the brain than those we use in talking and cognition, so it can bring a new perspective to your problems.

In a session a client will work one--on-one with a therapist in an art studio setting to create an artwork. Towards the end of the session, rather than 'interpreting' the work, the therapist will invite the client to explore what the image means to them.

It's a holistic therapy that improves problem-solving and encourages self-reflection, Kelly says. "It also allows emotions like anger to be expressed in different ways. It's a safe forum to do that." 

How much: Prices vary with different therapists. Usually about $100 for an hour-long session.

Try it: Contact Janet Pfeiffer here.
Created by Janet Pfeiffer