Art therapy is a therapeutic modality that involves an art therapist and client working with the creative art making process to support a client’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
Creating art helps people move beyond conscious verbal expression in order to reach deeper levels of healing by accessing what lies in the unconscious. When people have trouble expressing themselves verbally, art gives them the option to share their personal experiences in a visual art form which can be more impactful than words alone. Creating artwork can also ease people into opening up about difficult topics.
An art therapist focuses on a client’s strengths, interests, and abilities so engaging in the creative process feels safe and comfortable.
Clients do not have to be artists or art proficient to engage in art therapy. Art expression includes drawing, painting, sculpting, clay, writing, collage, poetry, music, and much more. Research supports the use of art therapy and acknowledges the therapeutic benefits gained through artistic self-expression.
The benefits of art therapy are:
Promotes self-expression and self-awareness
Supports self-care, balance, and well being
Decreases stress, depression, and anxiety
Manages chronic pain and physical ailments causing distress
Encourages the development of healthy and effective coping skills
Explores traumatic experiences in a safe manner
Assists in improving focus and memory
Develops problem solving skills
Heather Hassenbein, RCC
Registered Clinical Counsellor
Heather Hassenbein is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and a Professional Art Therapist. She has found the creative process to be supportive and healing in her own life and became committed to sharing this healing modality with others.