The process of art making involves individuals in the creative process. The creative process itself changes our brain state leading participants to healing their inner child, enhanced problem solving, inspiration for living, and greater feelings of inner well being. Enlivening the creative process through art making has nothing to do with “talent” but an experience that allows the benefits of art making to heal. Any media can be used to facilitate creative process whether it is drawing, painting, clay, sculpture, mask making or crafts. Art making will reveal to the participant surprises that express deeper truths, longing, or desires that may be censored by the analytical brain that judges and inhibits spontaneous expression. Conversely, art therapy can help an individual self organize and develop better boundaries through self expression.
Expressive arts therapies includes art making in all its forms. This includes the visual arts, movement, drama, music, and writing (e.g., journaling, poetry, storymaking). The expressive arts also use the creative process in a broader sense as applied to these expressive modalities. When blending together multiple creative disciplines it is possible to engage the entire sensory system – i.e., voice, kinetics, language, image into a whole experience.
As an art therapist, I work with people of all ages and with individuals, couples, families, and groups.
Sometimes art making allows us to express feelings that are otherwise painful or difficult to verbalize. For instance, art therapy is an excellent way to work through grief. It is also an excellent way to develop coping skills and to de-stress.
Collage is a way to gather images that are meaningful in a quick and spontaneous way. A collage may be an expression of our deepest feelings, held experiences that are difficult to express in words, or a way to express our dreams and aspirations.
Finding and reclaiming your own inner child through art making gives this part of us a voice.
Mask making is an excellent example of an expressive arts therapy process that involves the creation of the mask, the expression of the mask through movement, storymaking with the mask that can potentially become a drama.
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.