“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
I believe in a humanistic approach to therapy. Each client brings in his or her own unique life experiences. Your goals for therapy are particular to you, and I’m here to help facilitate your growth during this process in an empathetic, nonjudgemental environment.
I offer art as a way to visually explore emotions and feelings. It can be an alternative to talk psychotherapy, or work alongside it. I value and welcome traditional talk therapy, and allow my clients to engage in art when they feel ready. I believe the process of art-making can deepen our therapeutic work together, and facilitate nonverbal communication if & when words are difficult to find.
Thoughts on Art Therapy
Art therapy does not require a background in visual arts; I’ve found this to be one of the biggest misconceptions! In my experience, most of my clients have not picked up art materials since grade school. Many of my adult clients tell me they aren’t creative, and initially come to me for traditional talk psychotherapy. Some clients experiment with making art during the first session, while it takes longer for others.
People are often curious about what art therapy is and who benefits from it. I would describe art therapy as a way to outwardly examine one’s internal feelings and emotions for the purpose of self-realization and growth. The use of simple art materials can deepen the therapeutic process by bringing one’s unconscious feelings and experiences up to consciousness.
Every client comes in with different goals in mind, and my humanistic approach to art therapy varies by individual. One has the opportunity to give physical form to thoughts, emotions and feelings that have existed internally prior to this experience.
Sometimes it’s helpful to create distance between ourselves and what we have bottled up inside. Creative expression through artmaking provides safety for exploring difficult feelings without having to rely on verbal communication. The use of metaphor in art therapy is powerful and helps clients feel safe in exploring their feelings, emotions and experiences.
Many people assume that I interpret my clients’ artwork— this is not true. The images they create are unique to their own individuality. I’m here to give direction when needed and navigate through the artwork alongside my client. My role is to reveal important insights to my clients through their imagery, and help them find inner wisdom and deeper knowledge of themselves. It’s about the process, not the final product.
For more information about creative arts therapy, please visit The American Art Therapy Association.