What the hell is art therapy?

12 03 2008

Whenever I divulge that I am a graduate student in an Art Therapy masters program, I get a lot of people to cock their head to the side and utter a polite, “huh?” So, what the hell is Art Therapy? Glad you asked! My best description would go something like this:

Art therapy is an expressive form of psychotherapy that uses art materials, such as colored pencils, markers, paints, chalk and clay. Art therapists use the same psychotherapeutic techniques that talk therapists use, but they integrate the creative process into their session. Art therapists have an understanding for the way that different materials can evoke different emotional experiences, as well as the symbolism for shapes and color within the art. Merely creating through line, color and shape can be a major part of the healing process of art therapy.

Want to know more? There isn’t a huge amount of information out there that I trust on Art Therapy, but I recommend perusing the Art Therapy Association website.

House-Tree-Person art assessment drawing