Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of making art to improve a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
The creative process involved in expressing oneself artistically can help people to resolve issues as well as develop and manage their behaviours and feelings, reduce stress, and improve self-esteem and awareness. You don’t need to be talented or an artist to receive the benefits.
Art therapy can achieve different things for different people. It can be used for counselling, healing, treatment, rehabilitation, psychotherapy, and in a broad sense, provide the individual with a deeper understanding of him or herself.
The British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT) defines Art Therapy as “a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary mode of expression and communication. Within this context, art is not used as a diagnostic tool but as a medium to address emotional issues which may be confusing and distressing.
Art therapists work with children, young people, adults and the elderly. Clients may have a wide range of difficulties, disabilities or diagnoses. These include emotional, behavioural or mental health problems, learning or physical disabilities, life-limiting conditions, neurological conditions and physical illnesses. Art therapy is provided in groups or individually, depending on clients’ needs.”
BAAT goes on to say that art therapy “is not a recreational activity or an art lesson, although the sessions can be enjoyable. Clients do not need to have any previous experience or expertise in art.” However, in addition to our therapeutic work, hArt also uses art in a recreational way, particularly as part of our Open Days, to provide as many people as possible with opportunities to find out more about us and to encourage involvement with our work.