What is Art Therapy?
Art Therapy is a form of therapy in which the making of visual images (paintings, drawings, models, etc.) in the presence of an Art Therapist contributes towards externalisation of thoughts and feelings which may otherwise remain unexpressed. Artistic skills and aesthetic standards are of little importance within the context of Art Therapy, rather the emphasis is on self-expression and healing.
The Art Therapist provides a safe and non-judgmental environment to nurture the individual’s creativity and build confidence, selfesteem and self-worth. When art is used as communication within a therapeutic environment, the person involved in the process can gain insight both intellectually and emotionally by connecting the meaning of the picture to his or her own life situation. The Art Therapist provides individual or group sessions according to the individual’s needs, and confidentiality is assured at all times.
The approach is holistic and addresses a wide range of issues, e.g.
- Abuse in all its forms: emotional, physical, psychological, sexual;
- Bereavement: death, loss of any kind;
- Relationship issues: marital/partnership problems, early childhood issues, family of origin issues, social and occupational relationships;
- Addictive disorders;
- Trauma of all kinds;
- Spiritual crisis;
- Crisis of any kind.
When Art Therapy Can Be Helpful.
Art Therapy can offer a unique alternative to the talking therapies. It cuts across the restrictions of language and provides an alternative means of communication of thoughts and feelings. Sometimes the act of putting something down, even a line, colour or diagram can provide a new perspective on a situation or problem.
Only the person who makes an image has the right to say what it might mean – the Art Therapist does not interpret but facilitates self-expression and self-exploration, which may result in insight, growth and change.
Art Therapy can be used by children, adolescents and adults who may be seeking an additional or alternative form of
communication/expression in order to deal with specific emotional issues.
Art Therapists at the Tara Centre adhere to the highest professional standards of confidentiality in accordance with the Code of Ethics of the accrediting body, Tara Centre policies and current legal requirements.
As in all therapies the trust that is built between the client and the therapist is of great importance. The context of the session and any art work produced in the context of therapy is regarded as strictly confidential and is kept safely.
The Art Therapist
Art Therapists at the Tara Centre have a post-graduate qualification in Art Therapy, which is approved by the British
Association of Art Therapy (B.A.A.T) and have been awarded either by one of four universities in Britain and by Queens University, Belfast, NI. The Art Therapists are also registered members of this association, and are state registered under the Health Professions Council (H.P.C.) The Art Therapist has considerable understanding of art processes and is trained in a variety of psychological models and most have a sound knowledge of psychodynamic theory and practice, enabling them to work with the conscious and unconscious material that emanates from the artwork.