What Is Art Therapy?

Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary mode of expression and communication.

Within this context, art is not used as diagnostic tool but as a medium to address emotional issues which may be confusing and distressing.

Art therapists create a therapeutic relationship in which the child feels safe enough to express unconscious thoughts and feelings through the medium of art. Although the therapist can’t change what has happened to a child, they can help a child understand why they feel or behave in a certain way.

The medium of art, therefore, provides a means for a child to communicate and explore complex thoughts and feelings which they might not be able to express through words alone.

Once a child understands why they feel or behave in a certain way the therapist can work with parents and the school to think about ways to manage the behavioural, emotional or mental health difficulty.