Art Therapy

Art Therapy

According to the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT), art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art as the primary means of expression and communication.

It combines verbal communication with the individual’s artistic expression to improve their emotional, physical, and mental health. It is a projective technique, and through the art materials used during the creation of artwork in a session, the possibility of symbolism and the creation of a different “language” between the therapist and the client is provided.

One of the main therapeutic goals is to achieve awareness and development on a personal or group level, through the use of various art materials (e.g., brushes, paints, clay, photography, etc.) within a framework of trust and safety. This specific approach can help the individual to better cope with the difficulties they may be facing, to become more resilient, to strengthen their self-esteem and self-confidence, to increase awareness and development of perception, to reduce stress or uncomfortable feelings, etc. As with other forms of psychotherapy, it is used as a means of improving emotional and mental well-being.

Anyone can benefit from art therapy, regardless of their artistic ability or experience. It is not necessary for the individual to be an artist or talented to create, nor is there a ‘right’ way to paint something in these sessions. The goal is not to create a “beautiful” result, but the process, while the willingness to use the materials is sufficient. It is also not always necessary to create a work of art in a therapy session. Through creative expression, the individual can think about, understand and discuss issues that concern them that are sometimes difficult to express verbally.

Art as a therapeutic medium can be used in group (large and small groups) or individual psychotherapy and is suitable for all population groups. Art therapy is a recognized branch by the Health and Care Professions Council of the UK (HCPC).

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