What is Art Therapy?

What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy integrates psycho-therapeutic techniques along with the creative process to improve mental health, self-awareness and  overall well-being. The American Art Therapy Association describes art therapy as “a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight.” Art therapists employ the process of art making and do not focus on creating a final product.

Art therapy is an effective treatment for people experiencing developmental, medical, educational, and social or psychological challenges. Individuals who benefit from art therapy include those who have survived trauma, suffer from adverse physical health conditions, and/or experience autism, dementia, depression, and other disorders. Art therapy helps people resolve conflicts, improve interpersonal skills, manage problematic behaviors, reduce negative stress, and achieve personal insight.

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About the Author:

Joanna Flora is a registered, licensed board certified art therapist who works with children and adolescents. She currently practices in Sparta, New Jersey. Joanna has extensive experience working with children and teens with developmental disabilities as well as significant expertise in assisting individuals experiencing loss, anxiety, depression, self-harming behaviors and trauma.

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