Art therapy uses different art materials, such as, paints,
crayons, pencils, pastels etc for self-expression and reflection.
The art therapist will ask you why you have chosen art therapy,
discussing your issues and concerns you have brought. You do
not have to be good at art or have had experience. Art making
is used as a form of expressing your thoughts and feelings in
the company of a trained therapist. Therefore it is extremely
important that you feel at ease with the therapist, if you don't
you should find another one.
You will attend a number of sessions where the aim is that
progress will be made involving your personal growth and change.
You and the therapist will try to understand the art process
and the product produced. It can be a great way of letting out
your emotions and thoughts. You will have the opportunity to
see this through the art work and it can sometimes be useful
to look back at where you started from to help you realise how
far you may have come. During a session the art therapist may
ask you how something specific makes you feel and to draw this.
The art therapist is there to facilitate your experience.
Art therapy may unlock suppressed emotions and thoughts, therefore,
you should expect your time in art therapy to involve a roller
coaster of emotions. When thoughts and feeling do rise to the
surface this then allows you to acknowledge them and move on.
Sometimes it is not possible to change situations and acceptance
plays a big part of self healing. Art therapy can be useful for
a number of problems, involving, physical, emotional and psychological
disorders. It is available to everyone. It is especially beneficial
if you find it hard to verbalise your thoughts and feelings.
It is confidential and the therapist should be non-judgemental.
The professional orgainsation for art therapists in the UK
is, 'The British Association of Art Therapists, (BAAT)' Here
you can obtain their comprehensive directory of qualified art
therapists who work within the UK. They do, however note that
art therapists should also be registered with the Health Professions
BAAT, 24-27 White Lion Street, London, N1 9PD.
Tel: 020 7686 4216 Fax: 020 7837 7945
or visit their web site: www.baat.org