Art therapy Information

Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses art materials, such as paints, chalk and markers. Art therapy combines traditional psychotherapeutic theories and techniques with an understanding of the psychological aspects of the creative process, especially the affective properties of the different art materials.

As a mental health profession, art therapy is employed in many clinical settings with diverse populations. Art therapy can be found in non-clinical settings as well as in art studios and in workshops that focus on creativity development. Closely related in practice to marriage and family therapists and mental health counseling, art therapists throughout the US are licensed as either MFTs, LPCs, or LPCCs and hold either registration or board certification as an art therapist . Art therapists work with children, adolescents, and adults and provide services to individuals, couples, families, groups, and communities.

Using their skills in evaluation and psychotherapy, art therapists choose materials and interventions appropriate to their clients’ needs and design sessions to achieve therapeutic goals and objectives. They use the creative process to help their clients increase insight and judgment, cope better with stress, work through traumatic experiences, increase cognitive abilities, have better relationships with family and friends, and to just be able to enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of the creative experience. Many art therapists draw on images from resources such as ARAS to incorporate historical art and symbols into their work with patients. Depending on the state, province, or country, the term art therapist may be reserved for those that are professionals trained in both art and therapy and hold a master's degree in art therapy or a related field such as counseling or marriage and family therapy with an emphasis in art therapy. Other professionals, such as mental health counselors, social workers, psychologists, and play therapists apply art therapy methods to treatment. Many art therapists in the US are licensed in one of the following fields: creative arts therapy, art therapy, professional counseling, mental health counseling, or marriage and family therapy.

Wikipedia, Art therapy, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_therapy (as of Apr 10, 2010)

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