Art therapy, sometimes called "expressive arts therapy", is becoming a very popular form of psychotherapy across Australia. It actively encourages the use of artistic materials such as paints, clay, pencils, sprays to express their thoughts, feelings and emotions. Therapists use it as a remedial, or diagnostic activity. The use of this therapy can be tied back to childhood development, where children express themselves in a variety of non-verbal, and often creative, ways.
Professional practitioners use art therapy to give the individual an effective vehicle through which they can channel their inner creativity and output their thoughts, feelings and emotions in a therapeutic setting. For the individual, this helps them express themselves non-verbally and can lead to a sense of fulfilment and accomplishment.
It's a common misconception that art therapy is just for kids. This is not so. Art therapists work with a range of individuals from autistic adults through to senior citizens. There is no right or wrong way for a session to be structured, and it's not about the final product. It doesn't have to be a Van Gogh or Dali painting. It's more so about the process than what's produced at the end of the session. Many art therapists believe that by changing the visual representation of your reality, you can map out a path to change.
If you're intrigued by what an art therapy session looks like check out this video of a medical art therapy group in action: