Some Cool Stuff I’ve Noticed About Art Therapy

Fontankadom, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio
© 2010 Fontankadom, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

Art therapy can provide a direct link to our subconscious. I have so often been amazed by the messages and insights that have seemingly magically appeared when working with art therapy. When we work in therapy with art materials, we express ourselves through our feelings, memories and intuition. In contrast, when we communicate solely through talking, we are much more likely to express ourselves through our cognition – we are more likely to use rational thinking and to edit what we allow ourselves to both think and say. When I work with clients, I use a combination of approaches, depending on their needs. With some clients, we do just talk. However with many others, we use a combination of creativity and talking.

Some cool stuff I’ve noticed about working with art therapy:

  • Ideas, memories, realisations, answers, understandings and solutions seem to come out of ‘no where’.
  • It gives you a different perspective on issues that you may have been going in circles with.
  • If you’re not comfortable talking about your feelings, or certain experiences, this can be an easier way to express them.
  • I love using art therapy with my clients who struggle with disordered eating.  Often the eating disorder masks distressing feelings, making it difficult to really access underlying issues driving the eating disorder through just talking.  Art therapy seems to have the ability to shine a gentle light on these tender places and bring forth profound insights.
  • I have lost count of the number of times I have been in awe of what has emerged from my clients’ creative exercises.  I feel truly privileged to witness people who come into my room stuck on an issue, only to find the answer was with them all along.
  • There is something about getting your concerns out there in front of you, so that you can observe them, manipulate them, view them from different angles and discuss them, that is very powerful.

During August and September, a colleague, Dianne Smith, and I are offering an Art Therapy Workshop Series for Women (click this link to see the flyer with all the details!).  It is a really great introduction to art therapy and it’s cheap too!  Please contact me if you are interested – we start on the 9th August.

 I hope you have a great week,




2 Comments on “Some Cool Stuff I’ve Noticed About Art Therapy

  1. Nowadays there many teenagers that suffers from eating disorder because of what they have seen in our society that being thin is sexy to the extend that they don’t eat anymore so that look good and accepted in our society. I’m glad to know that Art therapy is one of the effective way to treat eating disorder.

    • Thanks for your comment Ian.

      I think eating disorders are extremely complicated and there are many, varied causes. The way women in particular are portrayed in mainstream western media and marketing is undoubtedly damaging.

      I believe treatment for eating disorders needs to be holistic and person-centred. No one approach is enough. Art therapy is a part of how I work with some of my clients, along with other approaches and in collaboration with other professionals and the client’s support network.


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