What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy is a form of therapy that uses creative and arts-based processes (ex. painting, drawing, sculpture, bricolage, collage, creative play, etc.), in addition to verbal discussion, to promote the well-being and healing of individuals, families and groups of people.  Within a therapeutic relationship, an art therapist supports people in exploring creative forms of expression that can assist in working through personal issues, and can allow for new understandings of life experiences, the self, and relations to others.  Art therapy provides opportunities to process thoughts, emotions and experiences through the symbolic and sensory-based act of creating! This form of processing occurs in connection with the body and is a beneficial option when verbal communication is difficult.  

Who can do Art Therapy?

Art therapy can be for anyone!  The non-verbal elements of art therapy makes art therapy accessible to many folks; ranging in age and ability.  You do not need to have any prior experience in art or art making to do art therapy.  An art therapist has a background in psychology and visual arts and is trained professionally to therapeutically assist people in using art materials and exploring art/therapeutic processes.  An art therapist supports the people they work with in a non-judgemental and non-interpretive manner. 

For more information on the profession of art therapy you can check out:

Association des Art-Thérapeutes du Quebec 

American Art Therapy Association

Canadian Art Therapy Association


© 2018 by Jessica Gardner  •  jessgardner@hotmail.ca  •  (514) 262-2246

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