Art Therapy for Clients
“I find that with talking therapy it is ‘just talking’ and there are a lot of limits to the work you can do. All you can do in that space is off load your feelings, whereas with art therapy you can reflect, express and process through exploration.”
I feel that this quote, from a past client, is a great reflection of what Art Therapy can offer for clients. It offers a safe space for clients to self-reflect, learn and grow. As an art therapist my role is not to analyze the client or their artwork but be an impartial and non-judmental observer of the process, helping them to better understand their own feelings, using art as a means of expression.
The word ‘process’ is key to the journey of art therapy. The goal is not to create a ‘masterpiece’ which reflects the inner thoughts and feelings of an individual, but rather to go on a journey with the creativity process, using textures, shapes, colours and layers to feel and express your inner most thoughts and feelings. The ‘process’ of creating an image, of being in the moment of expression, using colours, lines and shapes without thought, but from subconscious understanding, supports clients in unearthing suppressed emotions, unprocessed experiences and trauma, and unheard self-truths.
Art Therapy is a type of Psychotherapy, offering a space for clients to understand their past, and have a safe space to reflect on and process past trauma. The ‘art’ within the psychotherapy offers chance for clients to express themselves without words, without having to put thoughts and feelings into boxes, but to understand them for what they are and what they mean to them. Art Therapy, as with many therapies, is a personal journey, which is reflected in the artwork that is created.