Is Art Therapy Just Paying to Make Art with Someone?
Art therapy is a lot of fun. I enjoy communing with clients as they make something and process through the emotions, thoughts, and themes of their lives.
There are many times I think about how grateful I am to be an art therapist instead of a traditional talk therapist. There is so much movement, creativity, and unexpected exciting moments during art making.
When I opened my art therapy private practice, I worried that my clients may not feel the same enthusiasm that I do about art therapy.
I worried they might not feel that they were getting their money’s worth. That they would feel like they were just paying to do art with someone.
I logically knew better - I knew the efficacy and profound nature of art therapy. I knew that even if you cannot see direct results, it is doing in the inner work.
I know that I am trained to assess an individual and their needs, design a treatment plan, select appropriate materials, and design art making experiences that accomplish our intended goals.
THAT is the difference between making art with a friend and making art with an art therapist.
However, I couldn’t shake the emotional worry that a client might not get that.
I spoke with a fellow art therapist about this, and she had some excellent points. She reminded me that if I explain to new clients how art therapy works, they will understand that everything we do has a purpose.
Some key points included:
The process of making art is therapeutic in itself
Art communicates and offers new insight
The subconscious communicates and heals through art in ways that are often not directly verbalized or seen on the surface
Art making facilitates the building of a strong therapeutic bond
The therapeutic relationship provides a source of healing, insight, and co-regulation
When I was able to look at it from this fresh perspective, I was able to put my fears aside. I knew I could confidently explain the benefits, and that with time, the client will experience the benefits.
Thank you for reading. If you would like to be an art therapy client,
you can sign up here.