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What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy is an evidence-based therapeutic modality where psychotherapy meets up with artistic expression; a practice suitable for people of all ages, ethnicities, genders, and abilities. Sessions are intended to take place within a safe, anti-oppressive, and trauma-informed space; this could include but is not limited to, an art therapy studio, a counselling office, the outdoors, or an online setting.

Art therapy involves using art-making materials and tools for the purpose of self-expression and personal insight, where the creative process can involve using metaphor, symbol, journalling, poetry, or movement, alongside art materials and at times, words. This process of making art can often hold greater value than the final product, and artwork created is viewed as an extension of the self.

Within art therapy there is a spectrum. At one end is art-as-therapy; at the other is clinical art therapy. Art-as-therapy focuses on the act of artmaking as a method of healing, integration, and self-exploration. Clinical art therapy involves a greater focus on bringing unconscious thoughts and feelings to the surface where they can be expressed, processed and integrated. 

One of the benefits of art therapy is that words are not always needed, as art therapy focuses mainly on the right hemisphere of the brain; specifically, where trauma and childhood memories are often stored, and words are not always accessible or even existent. You do not need to consider yourself an artist to take part in art therapy.

There is often tea.

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