Art Therapy

Art Therapy in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, West LA, Westside, Venice

What is Art Therapy?

Art Therapy is a mental health profession aimed to assist individuals to enhance their mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. Art Therapy was developed out of the knowledge of human development, psychological theories, counseling techniques, and the belief that the creative process and self-expression involved in art making is healing. Art Therapy is performed within therapy sessions. The art therapist assists the client to use art media, engage in the creative process and use the resultant artwork in discussion to explore their feelings and reconcile emotional conflicts. Art Therapy leads to benefits such as gaining insight about oneself, resolving conflicts and problems, enhanced sense of identity and self-esteem, improved stress management and facilitates desired behavior changes.

What can a Client expect in an Art Therapy Session?

An Art Therapy session is very similar to any psychotherapy session with the addition of the incorporation of art making. As with any therapy, initial sessions are focused on assessment, followed by working through the conflict or problem, and lastly reinforcing the gains made. The therapist will utilize interviewing, discussion and Art Therapy directives, or art projects, throughout the process. The art in Art Therapy does not require any art training or art making experience. There is no wrong way to make art and there are no mistakes in Art Therapy. It is purely about self-expression and exploration. The art materials are simple and directives are unintimidating, such as collage. The experience of making the art is healing, reduces stress and is enjoyable. The artwork created is used to facilitate expression and discussion with the therapist. Art Therapy is tailored to each person and his or her therapeutic treatment goals. The Art Therapy process assists individuals to improve self-expression, enhance self-awareness, integrate thoughts and feelings, and facilitate desired changes.

Who is Art Therapy for?

I provide Art Therapy for adults as well as couples (Note: I do not currently offer child therapy). Art Therapy is used to assess and treat anxiety, depression, and other mental and emotional problems, substance abuse and addictions, family and relationship issues, abuse and domestic violence, difficulties in work or school settings, social and emotional difficulties related to disability and illness, trauma and loss, physical, cognitive, and neurological problems, and psychosocial difficulties related to medical illness.

Who are Art Therapists?

Art therapists are master’s level professionals who hold a degree in Art Therapy. They are educated on theories of Art Therapy, counseling, and psychotherapy; ethics and standards of practice; assessment and evaluation; individual, group, and family techniques; human development, creative development; multicultural issues; research methods; and had required internships in clinical, community, and/or other mental health settings. They use art in treatment, assessment and research, and provide consultations to allied professionals.

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