Art Therapy FAQ - Anna de Little

 

Why would I see an art therapist?

For a whole range of reasons… you might be struggling with a life challenge, a mental illness, or wanting to let go of old patterns.   Perhaps you want to cultivate more spontaneity, confidence and creativity in your life.  Art therapy is unique because it lets you ‘make’ your experiences into artworks and then look at things from a different perspective.  Being in the ‘flow-state’ of creativity is in itself therapeutic.   It is different to verbal therapies because thoughts and feelings can be explored with the richness of colour, line, texture and dimension…  Self-expression is not restricted by language, because words so often fall short in describing our experiences.

Do I need to be good at art to participate in art therapy?

Absolutely not.  Making a “pretty picture” is not the goal of art therapy.  Every single person is innately creative and often formal art training can get in the way of free expression. It is the therapist’s job to introduce you to art mediums and techniques that will help you express yourself creatively.

What makes art therapy different to art classes?

Lots of things.  In art therapy art making takes place in a safe and confidential place and involves a therapeutic relationship.  In art therapy, there is no right or wrong way to make things, and the main goal is self-expression.  Here the focus is on the creative process rather than the art product

What happens in an art therapy session? 

It begins with a discussion about your situation and any problems you are experiencing.  I then invite you to use art materials to create something in response to what we have discussed.  Sometimes I will offer suggestions for the type of art-making, while other times a person has a strong sense of what they want to use or make.  When you finish art making we explore the creation together, reflect on elements of the process and the artwork that you have made. This can lead to insights about yourself and your situation.

Will you analyze what I make?

No, I will not.  I believe that only you truly know what the artwork means.  Sometimes a meaning may reveal itself to you from our process of exploring, associating and discovering together.

What happens to the artwork I make after the session?

That is decided by you.  If you particularly want to take something home so you can look at it more, I will offer you a secure way to do this.  If you would like me to keep your artwork safely for you, I can do this.  In a session it can sometimes be helpful to look back at previous work you have made.