“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance” – Aristotle (384–322 BC)
Art therapy is often misconstrued as necessary only for troubled folks; on the contrary, it addresses a wide range of emotional needs, such as expression of personal joy/excitement, thoughts, and feelings, expression of grief and loss, as well as the development of gross or fine motor coordination. Art therapy is used in schools, hospitals, private practice, senior citizen homes, and many other settings.
In my experience children, adults, and seniors respond positively to using art in the process of tapping into their feelings. Depending on the population I am working with, I encourage the individual to choose their art medium, paper size, or even what they would like to work on. We work together to solve the problem within the art process as well as reflect on what has been created. I do not interpret the image, but help the artist find meaning in what has been created. I set up goals for each person or group to stay focused and come up with suitable art themes. A participant may use art to relax, reflect, or even express difficult feelings that words may not sufficiently capture. Art is used not only to dialogue with the outside world but with one’s self.
“It is magical to see how art can make you feel. Doing art makes me feel better.”
– A participant in an Art Therapy workshop.
Pictures from the individual art therapy and art expression groups.