What is art therapy?


The American Art Therapy Association defines Art therapy as...

“A mental health profession in which clients, facilitated by the art therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.”

So what's an art therapist anyway?

Art therapists are fluent in art (mediums, materials, techniques, etc) and traditional counseling techniques. Through extensive training and experience they use the art making process as a vehicle to support a person or group's emotional, cognitive, and/or psychological health. Art can be a powerful form of expression and many times can be an important addition to self-expression and self-awareness. An art therapist can help to facilitate this experience during both group and individual work. 


Do you have to be an amazing artist? 

Our art therapist says that in her ten years of experience the question she hears most often is "What if I'm not very good at art?"

Here's the truth:

You don't need to be "good" at art-making. You don't even need to be knowledgeable about art materials or how to use them. An art therapist will support and facilitate your creative expression in a safe, non-judgemental way. During the art therapy groups with Artsea, it is more about material exploration, expression, social skills, and any identified goals the group/individuals may be working on.  

What's the difference between working with an artist or an art therapist?

As mentioned before, art therapists are fluent in art (mediums, materials, techniques, etc) and traditional counseling techniques. They are also fluent in group dynamics, and social development and are well-versed in supporting group members individually and as a whole. Artsea’s objective is to provide a safe and comfortable setting where group members can be themselves while creatively achieving their goals.