Type of Method
The term ‘Art Therapy’ can mean different things in different contexts. There are two very broad meanings…
– Art can be used as a specific tool within psychotherapeutic practice. In this sense, making and evaluating art produced by the client can offer insight into the inner being, similar to the way that dreams can offer insight into inner being as part of the psychotherapeutic process. A psychotherapist or counsellor using art as a tool within their therapeutic practice will identify that in their profile. (See our description of counselling and Therapy).
– The activity of making Art can offer therapeutic benefits in its own right (not as a tool of psychotherapeutic practice). There are many physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual benefits to making art, by oneself or with others. Here, the process of making art is the therapy. This is a much broader category, with many different intentions, applications and beneficial outcomes. An art therapist in this category need not be trained in psychotherapy at all.
Collapse awareness is highly stressful. There are many potential benefits to making art, as a means to soothe or distract from what is distressing us, or as means to engage more deeply with it. You should feel free to ask anyone offering art therapy why and how they use art in their offering to find out if it will meet your need for support at this time.