There are some parts of life that are hard to express with words. The history of art-making through the ages – from early cave paintings, to the Renaissance, to street art – speaks through the universal language of images. We view them through multiple lenses at once: our personal experience, our cultural ideas, and the universal human experience. You don’t have to know a thing about a painting or the artist to have a reaction to it. Images evoke feelings, memories, and connect us to one another without saying a word.
Art therapy offers a way to express and release ugly, chaotic, vague, or unspeakable emotions on the page. It holds those feelings for you and lets you step back and relate to them in a different way. Art can bypass the mental blocks that stop you from recognizing your true feelings. And it can surprise you with layers of meaning that change over time, as you grow and change.
Creativity is a core part of therapy. By choosing to heal, you’re creating new habits and a new relationship with yourself. You’re creating a vision for your life and, together, we’re making a plan to release old pain and move you toward your goals. Art therapy is another step in that direction. It can offer an additional avenue to express yourself in a helpful, meaningful way.
Do I need to be an Artist?
Absolutely not. In fact, I find the most honest artistic expressions come from people with no formal training. Art therapy isn’t about the product, or the art itself. It’s about the process of creating that art, and how we explore its meaning together. Creating something can be a deeply empowering act, something that’s often missing from the hustle and bustle of daily life. It helps you slow down and be present in the current moment with each movement of the pen or brush. That’s valuable no matter how the art itself turns out.
Art as Nonverbal Communication
For some Neurodivergent folks, finding speech can be difficult during emotional moments. Creating art is a way to communicate beyond words and express yourself in a different way. It's slower, more spacious, and can convey multiple layers of meaning all at once. This can benefit people of all neurotypes who struggle to articulate their feelings in words.
Does Art Therapy work Remotely?
It’s true that art therapy can be a little more challenging when you’re not in the office with my materials available to you. However, if you’re interested in art therapy, we can work together to adapt art exercises to meet your needs with the materials you have on hand. You don’t need a treasure chest of expensive supplies. There are endless possibilities with just printer paper and a pen. All that’s missing is your intent to express yourself.