Sometimes, talk therapy just isn’t a good fit. Maybe you’re having trouble expressing yourself verbally or maybe you’re just not comfortable talking to strangers. If you’re seeking support outside of traditional therapy, an art therapist can help.
Art therapy is the use of art – written word, visual art, music, or other forms of creative expression – as a therapeutic method for behavioral, emotional, and mental issues. Certified art therapists are trained in various techniques for prompting this creative expression and interpreting it for therapeutic benefit.
A goal of art therapy is to ‘improve or restore a client’s functioning and his or her sense of personal well-being.’ (American Art Therapy Association) Often times, the client has a working knowledge of the type of creative expression they’d like to use with their art therapist, but the therapist can suggest different ways of looking at the art that is already being created.
There are a multitude of certifications that art therapists can attain, ranging from specific types of creative expression all the way to use of all things creative as therapy. The Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB) grants professional practice credentials to art therapists at three levels: Registered (ATR) granted upon completion of graduate education and postgraduate supervised experience, Board Certified (ATR-BC) granted to Registered Art Therapists who pass a written examination and maintain continued education, and Certified Supervisor Credential (ATCS) offered to Board Certified Art Therapists who demonstrate substantial supervision qualifications.
The realm of expressive arts therapy encourages multimodal creative expression to garner well-rounded approaches to therapeutic supervision. A Registered Expressive Arts Therapist (REAT) will combine visual arts, movement, drama, music, writing, and other forms of creative expression to foster deep personal growth and community development. By integrating the arts processes and allowing them to flow together, we gain access to our inner resources for healing, clarity, illumination and creativity. (International Expressive Arts Therapy Association)
Interested in learning more about how working with an art therapist might work for you? Call Integrative Counsel today! Dayna is a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist and is waiting to help you break through your shell with creative expression.