What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy involves the use of creative techniques such as drawing, painting, collage, colouring, or sculpting to facilitate self-exploration and understanding. Using imagery, colour, and shape as part of this creative therapeutic process, thoughts and feelings can be expressing that would otherwise be difficult to articulate.

With the guidance of a counsellor, you will be prompted to decode the nonverbal messages, symbols, and metaphors often found in these art forms, which should lead to a better understanding of their feelings and behaviour. The creative process involved in expressing one’s self 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 a talented artist to benefit from art therapy, and there are professionals that can work with you to dive into the underlying messages communicated through your art, which will aid in the healing process.

How does Art Therapy work?

Art therapy is founded on the belief that self-expression through artistic creation has therapeutic value for those who are healing or seeking deeper understanding of themselves and their personalities. According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapists are trained to understand the roles that color, texture, and various art media can play in the therapeutic process and how these tools can help reveal one’s thoughts, feelings, and psychological disposition. Art therapy integrates psychotherapy and some form of visual arts as a specific, stand-alone form of therapy, but it is also used in combination with other types of therapy.

Who can Art Therapy benefit?

Art therapy is effective for people of any age.  An art therapist works with individuals, couples, families or groups in settings such as counselling agencies, schools, treatment centres, rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, correctional institutes and elder care locations.

Art therapy can be used to treat a wide range of mental disorders and psychological distress. In many cases, it might be used in alongside other psychotherapy techniques such as group therapy or cognitive-behavioural therapy.

Some situations where art therapy can be beneficial include:

  • Children with learning disabilities
  • Adults experiencing severe stress
  • Children suffering from behavioural or social problems at school or at home
  • People experiencing mental health problems
  • Individuals suffering from a brain injury
  • Children or adults who have experienced a traumatic event

For young children, art therapy can be a constructive and beneficial form of treatment. Art therapy actives children’s creativity and allows them to easily express their emotions in ways that they would not be able to with words. This is especially beneficial for younger children that may not have a diverse vocabulary.

Some conditions that art therapy may be used to treat include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Cancer
  • Medical conditions
  • Aging-related issues
  • PTSD
  • Emotional difficulties
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance use
  • Family or relationship problems
  • Psychosocial issues
  • Stress
  • Psychological symptoms associated with other medical issues

Book Art Therapy in Vancouver or Langley, BC

    Art Therapy in Langley BC (Location)

    Art Therapy Locations:
    301 – 23189 Francis Ave, Fort Langley
    113- 3195 Granville St, Vancouver