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What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy combines art with psychotherapy. It enables individuals who may have difficulty verbally expressing painful thoughts and feelings a mode in which to explore these feelings in a safe way. By utilizing a variety of art materials (i.e. markers, clay, collage and paints), a person can create a visual representation of those thoughts and feelings.

Art Therapy benefits children and adults both individually and in groups. Some of the benefits of art include: to increase self-esteem, to help individuals identify and express feelings, to develop social skills and improve fine motor skills. It also provides and alternate way to communicate for those who are verbally challenged.

The American Art Therapy Association, Inc. (AATA), defines the profession. “Art therapy is the therapeutic use of art making, within a professional relationship, by people who experience illness, trauma, or challenges in living, and by people who seek personal development. Through creating art and reflecting on the art products and processes, people can increase awareness of self and others, cope with symptoms, stress, and traumatic experiences; enhance cognitive abilities; and enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of making art.”