What is art therapy?

People are often able to express through imagery what they are unable to verbalize. Integrating the use of art into therapy provides a non-threatening modality for helping people discover hidden abilities, communicate, overcome stress and explore different aspects of themselves’ while facilitating change.

Art therapy integrates traditional therapeutic techniques with the creative process to facilitate change and foster healing and growth. The American Art Therapy Association describes art therapy as “a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight.”


Art therapy interventions are used in conjunction with traditional talk therapy to assist clients communicating while working to achieve their goals.

The use of a variety of mediums is encouraged so that different senses are engaged in the therapeutic process, which assists in facilitating creativity and thought production. Both the process of art making and the discussion of the product are emphasized.