Sometimes there are just too many words running through the mind that stand in the way of self-understanding and self-exploration. Non-verbal interventions, such as Art Psychotherapy, can help us to become aware of and experience our emotions, memories, internal images and visions.
Art Psychotherapy is based on a psychodynamic model of psychotherapy. It offers the opportunity for emotional expression and communication and facilitates the surfacing of important unconscious material. The image contains feelings and thoughts which once expressed are able to be understood with their underlying issues. It is a way of gaining insight and self-knowledge, to explore and integrate the meaning of past and present experiences.
The relationship between the therapist and client is of central importance; it is a three-way process between client, therapist and image. Within this therapeutic triangle the client can activate creative processes while confronting crises and mastering stressful situations. In an atmosphere free of achievement and evaluation the overall aim is to enable one to effect change and growth on a personal level through the use of art materials in a safe and facilitating environment.
Clients who engage in Art Psychotherapy need not have previous experience or skill in art. You may have observed yourself making marks, scribbles, doodles and/or images at one time or another. The process involved in image-making, as well as the images themselves, can provide access to our emotions that words cannot.