Often our feelings and experiences are hidden in our unconscious minds. We then repeat unhelpful patterns, or repeat behaviours without being aware of the causes or how to make changes. The magic of Art Therapy is that the creative process engages different parts of the brain than those we use in talk and cognitive therapies, so, given that a lot of the emotions we carry are unconscious or inaccessible, Art Therapy creates the opportunity to connect more deeply to our experiences and emotions and create space for new healthy beliefs.
Expressive therapies, such as that of Art Therapy work effectively with adults and young people, and is particularly helpful with children. Play is children’s first and natural language, and provides a safe and self-guided way for children to express and process their feelings. Children often do not have the verbal skills to express how they are feeling. The toys and art resources in the therapy room are carefully chosen to engage the child’s interest, and to allow facilitation of creative and emotional expression without verbalisation. If your child has experienced trauma, expressive therapies can be beneficial. Research has shown that through modalities such as play and art, children are able to tap into, express and process their traumatic experiences through a medium that is gentle and accessible.
It is important to note that you do not have to be good at art to engage in art therapy, it is more about the process and your therapist can guide you through different activities to help you express yourself through your artworks. There is no judgement or value placed on your art, it is more a process of connecting to how the exploration makes you feel and discovering where you can move forward in life. Art therapy provides the perfect space for one to express their emotions, concerns and thoughts without having to find words while feeling safe and fully supported.