What is Art Therapy and How Can I Start a Creative Practice?

Art Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that incorporates creative expression into the therapeutic process. An art therapist serves as a guide who helps you to connect with your internal world.I truly love being an art therapist. I am able to support people as they connect to the deepest parts of their unconscious minds and emotions.

An art therapist holds safe space for you to express yourself creatively, and to be honest with yourself about what you are feeling. Art therapy is about the process of creating freely and not necessarily the finished product. You are able to become curious and explore what you believe to be true about yourself and your life. While viewing your art, you are able to develop a witness perspective and can rise above your challenges and see the larger picture. You are able to physically see the energy creating your life, which is often unconscious; and once you have a new awareness you are able to make choices from a conscious place moving forward.

Your art externalizes your feelings, experiences, conflicts and hopes so that you are able to more deeply understand your experience. Many experiences are deeper than words. Through creative expression we are able to illustrate our experience through imagery and colors. Simply creating art is healing and is a language all on its own. An art therapist is trained to help you to build a relationship to what you have created, as what you create expresses something about you.

If you want to start your own daily creative process, the first step is to get yourself some art materials and begin some playful exploration. It is helpful to gather a variety of materials such as pencils, paper, pastels, paints, markers, and begin exploring what it feels like to use these materials.

The next step is to notice what thoughts and feelings arise as you create, and to be honest with yourself about what comes. Having awareness and not dis-owning any parts of yourself that arise is an important part of this process. You are holding safe space for yourself to honor your feelings, and this alone is a beautiful healing practice.

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