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What is Art Therapy?

Art Therapy is a special type of therapy that incorporates creative techniques such as drawing, coloring, painting and sculpting to assist in treating mental illnesses, processing grief or trauma and developing a more resilient mental state. Art therapy is also particularly useful for self- expression and self-exploration when it comes to topics that are challenging to discuss verbally.

Art therapists are licensed mental health professionals who have done additional studies to specialize in this unique area of practice. We are proud to offer art therapy here at Flourish Psychology thanks to the expertise of our clinician, Faith Bowen, LCAT.

Faith is a board-certified therapist with a specialization in Creative Arts Therapy. She uses traditional therapeutic modalities to treat conditions such as anxiety and depression. Faith’s work helps patients to reach their goals and improve their self-esteem. For those interested in a more creative approach to mental healthcare, Faith incorporates the use of artistic methods in her treatment plan. You will see reduced stress and improved self-confidence through your work with Faith. This modality can help you process your feelings and understand your needs leading to better insight and self-growth.

History of Art Therapy

Art is as old as humanity itself. As humans, we have always expressed ourselves as creative beings. Though we have always been aware of the benefits of making and consuming art, art therapy is a relatively new therapeutic modality. It was formally recognized in the 1940’s and became more popular in the United States in the 1960’s. Since then, the field has undergone significant refinement and accreditation.

Who Can Benefit?

Art Therapy is for everyone! Research has proven that this method of therapy is beneficial for patients regardless of age, gender or creative ability. You do not have to be an artist or artistically inclined in order to experience the benefits of this modality

It is especially beneficial for stress management in adults. Using art as a creative outlet to vent is a much healthier coping mechanism than, say, turning to drugs or alcohol. Art is a healthy method of expressing challenging emotions such as anger, sadness, regret or guilt. Since art is an effective method of processing difficult events, art therapy is used to treat post- traumatic stress disorder in adults and children alike

This kind of therapy is helpful for adults and children experiencing social or behavioral problems, as well as learning disabilities. It may also be used to help improve communication and emotional regulation for adults and children on the autism spectrum.

Finally, it is has proven to be effective in treating anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses. Flourish Psychology offers this option to clients seeking a unique method of managing stress and treating mental illness. This method may be used in conjunction with other techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy.

Though art therapy is particularly helpful for children and creative professionals, everyone can benefit from this form of therapy, regardless of age or artistic experience. Schedule a free consult with us to see if art therapy meets your needs.

Written by Francine Derby.