Art Therapy is a modality which offers creative ways of expressing or exploring issues that are difficult to put into words; for example grief, loss, trauma. Having access to art materials can be helpful to explore what concerns or distresses us. Often during the process, a client will clarify what is getting in the way of peace of mind. Clients are not expected to be artistic. Their art-making and images are solely for their use in the session and not intended for an audience.
Clients’ images are not interpreted by the therapist, rather, the therapist will support the client to elicit their personal response to the images. The therapist is trained to understand the client’s process within the therapy paradigms in which they have been trained.
Art is frequently used as a therapeutic medium. However, ‘art as therapy’ may be misrepresented as Art Therapy. A Registered Art Therapist / Psychotherapist has been trained to internationally recognized standards through an approved Masters course with a high number of clinical supervision hours. A Master of Arts in Arts Therapies, including a clinical year, is now offered in New Zealand through Whitecliffe College of Art & Design, Auckland,
Art Therapy literature is extensive. ANZATA publishes a peer –reviewed Journal.