Art Therapy & Counselling Services
Art therapy (also referred to as art psychotherapy) is a style of intervention within mental health, allied health and human services professions. It is a way of working psychotherapeutically using primarily, but not exclusively, creative media such as paint, clay or collage. Other methods such as guided visualization, meditation, focusing techniques, might also be used. Working creatively enables the expression of positive as well as negative emotions.
Art therapy can be used with a range of age groups and for dealing with a variety of problems. It can be applied to groups or individuals, for personal development or professional supervision. Art Therapy is a non-judgmental, non-invasive, gentle and enjoyable practice. It is an effective tool to access inner resources and strengths and to enhance peace and contentment. It can be implemented as a short or long term strategy dependent on the person’s needs and the setting, as a primary intervention, or as a part of a multi-disciplinary approach to mental health and well-being.
Art therapists are trained and registered professionals who work in a variety of settings such as private practice, psychiatric hospitals, schools, community centres or prisons
What you should know
- No artistic skill or experience needed to participate in or benefit from art therapy.
- You can choose from a range of mediums to express your experience.
- You have a right to ask about your therapist’s training, qualifications and experience.
- Whilst Art therapy is a gentle and non-threatening it can also be confronting. It must be administered by professionals who are trained and experienced in its use
- The relationship between you and your therapist is central to the practice of art therapy and to the success of your treatment.
- The skill of your therapist lies in knowing therapy, understanding art processes and knowing what intervention or activity is best suited at any given time to assist you.
What happens in a typical individual or group session
Time allows for an initial discussion about your problem and taking some personal history. In subsequent sessions we track mood, any progress or regression experienced. The discussion illuminates what to focus on, and what materials you might work with. Problems and solutions previously not obvious may become apparent through the process of self-discovery. Your art work and your perceptions of it are respected as your unique expression of your experience. The image may suggest things to me through its use of symbolism or colour and through my training and I keep that in mind. Your artwork’s meaning is elicited from you, its creator. Whilst I may not interpret your artwork, the art work provides us with guidance to help you expand your own view about the imagery, symbolism and meaning of what you created. We spend 50 minutes then plan for the following meeting. The number of meetings required differs depending on individual requirements. This is discussed and reviewed as necessary.
During group sessions I may suggest a theme, or themes may arise during group discussion. Mostly, you are encouraged to create an image without influence from me. We then reflect on the work created and explore feelings and thoughts that may be associated with it. We may also explore some possible solutions, interventions or strategies. Working with others can help to feel less alone.Groups are designed to suit specific needs such as:
- Groups for youth at risk
- Self-esteem and personal development
- Grief and bereavement groups
- Creative expression groups
- Recovery groups
- Social interaction groups
- Parenting groups
- Women’s group
- Or a group might be set up as a mixed group .
About Counselling and Psychotherapy
Professional counselling focuses on particular concerns with the intention to help you develop a clearer understanding of your problem and assist you to work through your feelings and reactions. A counsellor may have specialised knowledge relevant to your specific concern, such as an understanding of grief, family dynamics, multicultural or communication skills. Counselling may focus on relationships, workplace matters, stress, grief or loss, illness, career goals, parenting issues, crisis or conflict, amongst other matters.
Psychotherapy focuses more on issues of personal meaning, relationship to self, and the impact of past events and trauma. The psychotherapist helps you to gain a deeper understanding of yourself and to overcome core issues that may be disruptive to the life you want for yourself. The aim is for change at a fundamental level. Whilst there are many different approaches to psychotherapy all view that the therapeutic relationship between you and your psychotherapist is paramount to successful outcomes in your therapy. Psychotherapy is usually a longer-term process. As can be seen from the above descriptions, Art therapy as a psychotherapeutic intervention falls within the counselling and psychotherapy parameters with the additional benefit of being a visual media. If you wish to know more, please contact me.
You can use my contact page or you can phone (08) 9574 4328, or 0435121058.