I feel the “What is Art Therapy” flyer from the American Art Therapy Association is a great explanation of what Art Therapy is and how it can help. Lots of people may be concerned or intimidated by the word art. Art Therapy is not about judging or grading artistic ability or artistic techniques. The Art in Art Therapy is more about the creative process and creative space.
The creative process may include using art media such as colored pencils, markers, or paint to explore and describe feelings and emotions a person may have experienced. Words and languages can be limiting by definitions. The artistic creative process can allow a person to describe exactly how they might feel in their unique situation. Think of how validating that could be when a therapist can truly see and understand how feelings, such as sadness or anger for example, can affect a person unique to their situation.
Also, Art Therapists often will give intention and purpose to the creative space they work from. The intention of my creative space I work from is to facilitate curiosity and exploration. A great therapist might prompt you to become curious about your feelings or emotions and find ways to explore them; in therapy world, that is called processing. A great therapist might ask, how long have you felt this way? When or where do you feel this way? How do you cope when you feel this way? Those questions foster curiosity and exploration of your feelings and emotions verbally, but my creative space can do that along with providing visual outlets to answer those prompting questions while sparking curiosity about art materials. Maybe a person always wanted to try to paint with watercolors or create a collage. So, the intention of my space is to not only prompt curiosity and exploration of feelings and emotions, but also to ignite creativity for motivation to get there.
Lastly, I feel the sign on my wall sums it up; sometimes being creative helps to talk about difficult things.