Art therapy is a mental health practice in which clients use a creative process to express themselves. The expressive process may aid in reconciling emotional conflict, increasing self awareness/self esteem, developing social skills, and combating anxiety. Positive improvement upon personal well being is the main goal of any therapy, including art therapy. As well as, increasing a sense of self: physically, emotionally, mentally and sometimes, spiritually.
Art therapy helps clients in describing and understanding problems that are difficult to express and verbalize. It also can bring unconscious thoughts and feelings to a higher level of awareness. Clients utilize their individual creative process in order to help themselves grow, foster hope and move forward with their lives.
Art therapy is all inclusive. It can help clients from all walks of life, culture and personality. Art therapy is an extremely effective treatment for people experiencing medical, educational, developmental, social or psychological impairment. Art therapy is especially helpful for those who have emotional issues related to trauma, anxiety and depression.
Sometimes clients who do not have mental health issues participate to complete personal wellbeing goals, foster a greater sense of self, and help themselves cope with the ever demanding world and other stressors.
Clients do not need to be a naturally artistic person to ‘get something’ out of art therapy. The creative process is not something the art therapist judges or tries to improve. The creative process is unique to the client and an art therapist will help guide the client through visual art media in the search for greater mental health and stability.