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Art therapy may sound like it’s about the art itself. But it’s not about so much more than that. Art therapists undergo extensive clinical training to be able to read and understand a person’s artistic expression in ways that can say so much about what a person is feeling, what they’re struggling with, and so much more.

You’ve likely heard that art is a form of expression. One of the reasons it’s capable of doing that is because there are themes in what a person’s psychology says about them in their art. It’s why, while much art is open to interpretation, most of us can get similar feelings about a piece of art if we see it and recognize themes if we know where to look.

What are some examples?

We want to limit the number of examples we share because we do not want it to influence a person’s art. We want everything to flow from you genuinely. However, some examples might include:

  • If a person uses bright colors in certain types of paintings, it may mean that they’re showing signs of anxiety and agitation. However, in other settings, it may be a sign of contentment and excitement.
  • Recurring symbols may have meanings. For example, if a person consistently adds fences to a drawing, it may indicate that they’re feeling trapped or guarded.
  • Lines that are more unnecessarily jagged might indicate a person is feeling frustrated or angry, while lines that flow more might indicate that the person is thoughtful and calm.

Because we want the art to be genuine, we are careful to not direct you. While art therapy is guided AND we discuss the art together, it is meant to be your expression and come naturally, so we encourage anyone considering art therapy not to look up meanings too much before their sessions.

Nevertheless, it’s important to understand that this type of therapy and interpretation is extensively studied, and your art therapists deeply know how to assess and understand what you create. If you are struggling, and would like to explore an alternative approach to more widely known mental health options might benefit you, contact Flourish Psychology, today!

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