Art Therapy Volunteer or Candidate?
Generally defined, art therapy is a more specialized area of mental health that is designed to use various types of art materials, as well as the creative process itself, to reduce anxiety, explore emotions, resolve multiple psychological conflicts, and increase self-esteem. According to the American Art Therapy Association, are therapy “can be an effective mental health treatment for individuals who have experienced depression, trauma, medical illness, and social difficulties.”
Here are four of the most commonly asked questions regarding art therapy that many people often have.
*What kind of art is commonly made as part of art therapy?
Typically, it depends on your overall interests, as well as the overall therapeutic benefits of specific types of art for the situation that you are finding yourself in. When it comes to art therapy, this can include a range of art materials and processes. For instance, your sessions may include activities like painting, working with clay, creating a visual journal, making a mask, and composing a collage. Oftentimes, the focus could be placed on the overall process itself instead of coming up with a finished art project.
*Can whoever makes the art keep the piece that they make, and will the art therapist show the piece to anyone else?
The simple answer to this question is that your artwork is always your creation and will always belong to you. Oftentimes, some people will choose to keep the artwork that they complete, and others choose to give it to their art therapist. In this case, the art therapist will never show a completed piece to anyone else without your permission. According to the code of ethics that is always followed by art therapists, they must always safeguard the creations of an artist in the same manner that they would protect all other forms of privileged information.
*Will an art therapist attempt to interpret a piece of artwork?
Oftentimes, art therapists will use a multitude of approaches similar to psychotherapists or counselors. It's also not customary for a therapist to interpret a piece of art that has been created by you, with the focus being placed on the personal meaning that you find in your own creative work as opposed to a more arbitrary meaning that has been imposed by your therapist. While you are the expert regarding your own work and creative process, the role of the art therapist is to facilitate the explorations of your work instead of either interpreting or analyzing it.
*Am I required to have any experience or training in order to participate in art therapy?
The simple answer to this question is no, you are not required to have any art experience. Your therapist will be highly trained in both psychology and visual art, and they will also work to guide you in the process of creating works of art thanks to utilizing specific kinds of materials. The only thing that you will need in order to participate in art therapy is the need to both explore and experiment.