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Is Art Therapy for Me?

You don’t have to have any art experience for Art Therapy to be effective for you. Nor do you have to be a kid (though it is a natural fit for kids). Using art in a healing way calls upon an innate capacity we all have. It is especially helpful for people who get frustrated trying to “figure” their way through feelings, and who feel like they just aren’t getting anywhere with talking about problems. Art-making puts one in their body—it is a sensory experience, accessing the right hemisphere of the brain. After creating an image or sculpture, an Art Therapist facilitates reflection on the work, which helps integrate new understanding into the left hemisphere of the brain. Although there is an aspect of Art Therapy that is assessment, most often it is used in a way that supports the client’s discovery of their own internal symbolic language. Often, people worry that their images will expose something they aren’t ready to deal with. Although it is true that using art tends to bypass the usual verbal defenses we are accustomed to, a trained Art Therapist supports your process of understanding the image at your pace.