Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses visual art to help us safely express and explore thoughts and feelings that we may not be able to put into words. It is not necessary to be an artist or 'good at art' to undertake art therapy. Art may be as simple as a photo on your phone, a stick-figure scribble, an abstract painting experimenting with colour, line, shape and texture, or a collage using different materials. The emphasis in art therapy is on the process of making art (with an open, curious and non-judgmental mind) rather than the end result.
The images we make, and even the ways we make them, are often symbolic, representing aspects of our subconscious mind. Tapping into our intuitive, imaginative and creative right brain helps us access memories, emotions and sensory experiences which are often blocked by our logical, analytical, verbal left brain. Working with a therapist, this can help us to develop self awareness, make sense of our personal experience, resolve conflicts, decrease negative feelings and increase well being. It is always the client's, rather than therapist's, role to find meaning and interpret their images and the therapist works at all time to help the client feel safe in their exploration.
Art therapy is suitable for adults and children and can help a wide range of people experiencing issues with anxiety and depression, health challenges, relationship conflicts, loss and grief, difficult life transitions and ageing. It can be done individually with a therapist or with a group.
With a Masters in Art Therapy, I'm a professionally registered art psychotherapist (AThR) . I work with a range of art media including painting, drawing, collage and clay but also have a particular interest in photo-art-therapy, therapeutic photography and mindfulness-based art therapy and photography. My practice is client-centred and draws upon evidence-based principles of cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy, positive psychology, mindfulness and neuropsychology. I have clinical experience working with clients experiencing mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, post-traumatic stress and addictions. I am passionate about optimising wellness in the general population using arts-based approaches as preventative measures.
Contact me at email@example.com for individual consultation, art therapy groups and upcoming workshops.