American Art Therapy Association describes art therapy as "an integrative mental health profession that combines knowledge and understanding of human development and psychological theories and techniques with visual arts and the creative process to provide a unique approach for helping clients improve psychological health, cognitive abilities, and sensory-motor functions. Art therapists use art media, and often the verbal processing of produced imagery, to help people resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight." American Art Therapy Association
Becoming an art therapist takes a lot of work. It can take about 6-8 years in college. They are trained in both therapy and art, and have studied both psychology and human development, having received a Master’s Degree. There are many aspects that need to be understood and taught.
Why Art Therapy?
I've always loved the art world and the way the artists come together and create many different forms of art and the way they express themselves through their art work. Being an artist myself I can see the benefits of using it in therapy. It can calm you and bring you to another state of mind. Using the information I've learned about art therapy I will be creating a piece of work in the studio with my mentor that expresses me and makes me feel proud. Anyone can use art therapy. Art therapy is a way to communicate your emotions or feelings through any type of art. As I spend my weeks here in the studio I will be researching art therapy along with helping John create leaves that I can take home and enjoy. John will help me learn how to make his sculptures and how I can use his ideas and knowledge of art and incorporate it into my own life.