How do I know it’s time to pursue therapy?
It is time to seek out a professional when an issue begins to interfere with your daily functioning. In other words, is the problem affecting your school/work? Your relationships with others? My job as your therapist is to get you back to what you were before this interference began.
How is a therapist any different than a friend or family member that is a good listener?
Psychotherapists are trained to guide you towards recognizing your obstacles to healing. They can help you delve safely into your childhood, your unconscious, your addictions, and your deep dark places and come out on the other side with an understanding, an awareness, and the tools to move forward in a healthy helpful way. While friends and family may be a good support, they are offering you advice and words from their own upbringings and backgrounds that may not work for you and don’t allow you to come up with your own path to healing.
Are Art Therapists Real Therapists?
Art Therapists are trained psychotherapists who use the creative process within the therapy. Art therapists who meet rigorous education and experience requirements are credentialed by the Art Therapy Credentials Board. The “Art Therapy Registration” credential (ATR) is granted to art therapists who have completed graduate education and post-graduate supervised experience requirements. For more information, visit:
Why does Art Therapy Work?
Art is a visual/hands-on experience thereby using a different part of your brain than traditional talk therapy. Traumas, emotions, and difficult life events are hard to express verbally because they are fragmented not sequenced. Art encourages an emotional experience and helps the individual better express their feelings as they now have multiple ways to do it. The art therapy experience is holistic and helps people to make the transition from fragmented pieces to an intact path towards understanding.
But I’m not a good artist?
Great!! It’s actually better that way. Artists and more creative people tend to focus on the product of their creations rather than the process. The purpose of art therapy is the process and what occurs during that process.
Why would I choose art therapy over traditional therapy?
Art therapy is traditional therapy with the bonus of including art. So, essentially you are getting a two for one deal. Art illuminates and activates the part of your brain that is used for creativity and holds much of your unconscious material. In traditional therapy you are using the part of your brain for reasoning and problem solving; the part of your brain that has been able to develop defenses over time. These defenses were useful when they were developed, but now may be holding you back from clearing the clutter and achieving your goals. For both children and adults, art is a wonderful outlet to express yourself when words can’t do the whole job.
What will therapy look like?
Well of course the answer is always, it depends on the client. There are two different types of art therapy: art as therapy and art in therapy. Art as therapy is using the actual art itself as therapeutic with the therapist as a guide. Art in therapy is more directive, the therapist will generally provide you with a more specific instruction or direction to create and then will delve into processing it. I use both types of therapy as needed. Typically, we would chat for 10-15 minutes about your week and what has been occurring and then I would direct you to the creative process. After finishing the creation we would discuss that process, how it perhaps related to what was discussed at the beginning of the session and other aspects, thoughts, and feelings that arise from the work. Sessions sometimes contain a lot of art and sometimes none at all.