What is Art Psychotherapy?

Art Psychotherapy is a psychological and creative intervention to bring about change and growth on a personal level to improve ones quality of life. It is a form of psychodynamic psychotherapy based on the understanding of human development, psychological theories and the presence of creative modalities as a form of communication and expression.

Art therapists work with individuals of all ages and clients may have a wide range of difficulties, disabilities or diagnoses.

These can include:

  • Emotional stress
  • Learning or/and physical disabilities
  • Life-limiting conditions
  • Mental health problems
  • Loss, Trauma, Grief
  • Difficulties in communication
  • Social and behavioural difficulties

Art therapy is provided in individual or group sessions, depending on the needs of the client. It is non-discriminating and non-dependant on spoken language and can therefore be beneficial to anyone who finds it difficult to express his or her feelings and thoughts verbally. Although it is neither an art lesson nor a recreational program, the client may find the sessions to be an enjoyable experience. It also does not require previous experience nor skills in art making as the focus is in the process of creative expression and psychotherapy rather than the end product or the techniques involved in art making.

How can art therapy help your child?

A child or adult with learning disabilities or developmental delays may often feel discouraged and disempowered being at the mercy of their own mental or physical challenges. At times, they may struggle to make sense or resolve the feelings that often arise in the process of their treatments and environment.

While children may benefit from counselling to deal with their physical and cognitive challenges, they may find it difficult or frightening to directly express their worries, fears and other difficult feelings. Because of this, communicating through a different medium may be an easier alternative. Sometimes words are inadequate and cannot be found to describe certain feelings and thoughts. At times, words alone are often not enough but a picture can speak a thousand words and the process of image making can help to do that.

Together, the visual artwork along with words may help to convey what one is experiencing and wish to say. Art therapy can offer your child a space to feel empowered again as their creative work is something that your child is in control of.


What happens during an art therapy session?

 In a psychodynamic psychotherapy session, there is focus on the relationship between the client and therapist. The therapist provides the containing space and facilitates the client to make links between their artworks, thoughts and their own feelings. Within this therapeutic relationship, client can be heard, listened to, thought about, accepted and given room to explore feelings and thoughts without judgment.

The type of art media varies from two to three dimensional; painting, drawing, clay work and more. It is left to the clients preference for expression.

Helpful information

Art psychotherapists are Master’s Level professional degree holders in Art Therapy and need to be registered with the state and/or a healthcare professional body. This means that there are standards for training and professional development and code of ethics to adhere to. They also need to be trained in a variety of art modalities such as painting, drawing, sculpture and other media for the use of assessment and treatment.

To make an appointment for Art Psychotherapy, please call 6397 6627  or email to info@thomsonpaeds.com