Self-expression through art has been part of every culture and for centuries began as the written word to tell stories and pass down knowledge. It is a natural way that children express themselves before they have the language to describe what they see in their mind and feel in their body. Unfortunately, as children get older they are conditioned to ignore their creative ideas and ways of expressing themselves and lose the value of art. So as adults have forgotten this natural way to communicate, the idea of creating art feels childish. But if clients let down their defenses and explore different coping methods, they will discover that it innately becomes a part of them again and feels therapeutic.
Art therapy is offered to people experiencing mental health problems, severe distress and trauma, children suffering from behavioral/social problems at home or school, and learning disabilities. There are a variety of mediums used to elicit therapeutic content through drawing, painting, sculpture and collage. Art therapy differs from an art class because it is focused on emotional content and the inner landscape of the psyche. The use of art therapy will achieve different experiences for each individual, but it will provide the individual with a deeper understanding of self. Many clients incorporate art therapy into their “talk therapy” sessions on a regular basis.