ART Therapy -
The profession of ART THERAPY, grew out of the progressive education movement of the 1920's on the east coast -- with Margaret Naumberg and Edith Kramer, as founding member ---- noting the healing that occured from the 'doing' of art -- both within psychiatric and school envvironments of their time. Art therapy has grown to be a distinct clinical discipline of it's own - with over a dozen Art Therapy Schools which offer graduate level training of clinicins in accredited institutions under the umprella of The American Art Therapy Organization -- with Art Therapist's in the United States, and Internationally. The registration of Art Therapy and credentialing takes place through a separate body - the american art therapy credentials board -- insuring high professional standards and excellence in those they certify. I am one such individual. The training is very specific, requiring either a graduate degree or certification ----much more involved than a counselor may have picked up in programs offering counseling programs. In many ways, Art Therapy, is a hybrid profession of the effects of engagement in art for healing - Art as Healing, and Art Psychotherapy. Many counselors who engage in art in their sessions with clients, (untrained clinicians) utilize the Art as Healing modality --- as they are not trained in Art Psychotherapy.
The materials found within the art therapy office or studio includes --- paints -- chalks--pastels---oil pastels---crayons (for little ones)---markers---drawing tools ---as well as moldable clays ----collage and mixed media. Simple materials for doll making and other 3 dimensional materials. Do you remember the fun you had using art materials as a child...the sense of pride in creating something you were proud of. Something happens when one grows up -- we stop playing and accessing our natural and creative self. The self we all have, but have forgotten. I invite you to re-experience the fun and power of the creative process for healing -- and the simple joy of creativity. Art for me is like a meditation -- my everyday world goes away -- as I enter the world of color -shape and form - and surprise as I work with the images that come to me. I love how the colors and images change as my creative force unfolds. Often as if I am guided by a force within --- that force is my creative core. It is through this source that magic and mystery appear. I find a joy, that is undescribable -- as I lose myself into this place of immagery and the active immagination.
Engagement in art for healing creates ...
- Increases Self Esteem and Self Confidence
- Developing new skills
- A way to visually expressive feelings, difficult to talk about
- Creatively work through grief, and integrating past trauma's- without talking
- Provide an alternative form of communication
- Develop a relationship with the immagination and imagery that flows from the unconscious.
- Develop new coping strategies -- as well as meditative and calming affects
What I have just described is primarily Art As Therapy. Another form of Art Therapy is -- Art Psychotherapy -- done with a trained clinician. In this format there is a processing of elements occuring in the art spontaneously without conscious direction -- often from unconscious sources not accessable to the individual. The appearance of these images/symbols allow the individual to explore often repressed aspects of themselves, gain a greater and deeper awareness of all aspects of themselves -- allowing for healing and exploring life as a ''Whole Person'. There is a conscious awareness of the art therapist of difficulties that may occur witth the client -- thus chooses the materials carefully -- and is knowledgable of how to control the process for the therapeutic benefit of the client. Working with images can be a very powerful way of healing - and self discovery.
I invite you into this magical world of imagery for access to greater self knowledge -- to play with your inner playful child -- towards healing and releasing greater joy and abundance in your life.