Research shows that art therapy benefits diverse client populations, and can be effective in a variety of formats.
Art therapists work with people of all ages and challenges in life, including patients with severe behavioral problems and addictions, to clients without medical or psychological issues who are simply looking for personal insight into their lives. Art therapy is most commonly recommended for people with medical, educational, developmental, or psychosocial impairment.
Art therapy is also an effective treatment for people dealing with the following issues:
- Individuals who are struggling with frightening memories or upsetting emotions as a result of trauma, combat or abuse
- Persons with serious medical health conditions or disabilities such as traumatic brain injury, cancer, depression, autism, antisocial personality or dementia
- Couples attempting to reconcile emotional conflicts
- Individuals seeking personal growth and increased self-esteem
- People experiencing stress, anxiety, and other problematic behaviors.
The underlying goal of art therapy is to improve or restore a client’s functioning and his or her personal feelings of well-being. This begins with an art therapist encouraging the client to engage in the creative process, to explore their feelings, and to enjoy the pleasures of making art.
Art therapy does not require the client to be talented or an artist, to experience the benefits. Our art therapist’s job is not to teach art or critique our client’s work, instead, art therapists work with clients to dive into the underlying messages communicated through their art, and combine psychotherapeutic counseling techniques to promote personal development, foster self-awareness, and build coping skills.