General Question

susanc's avatar

Would you go to an art therapist? Why?

Asked by susanc (15771 points ) June 18th, 2009

I am one, but I’ve taken a realllllly long leave from my practice. I want to start up again. What would you want to know about art therapy, if you were considering going for counseling?

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21 Answers

DarkScribe's avatar

What the hell is an “Art Therapist”? Is is someone you take an unhappy painting to see?

tyrantxseries's avatar

what is a “art therapist”?

tyrantxseries's avatar

you type too fast DarkScribe

DarkScribe's avatar

@tyrantxseries you type too fast DarkScribe

I use Nuance Voice dictation. It claims to be capable of more than three hundred words per minute, but I can only get around two hundred.

It compensates for the lack of speed when using my BlackBerry – which is most of the time.

tyrantxseries's avatar

I type with one finger

DarkScribe's avatar

@tyrantxseries I type with one finger

I do something else with one finger…

casheroo's avatar

I’ve done Art Therapy. I find it soothing, but it doesn’t really get down to helping me much. Maybe it’s different for others.
I would not specifically seek out an Art Therapist, mine was including in a treatment center.

tyrantxseries's avatar

No I don’t think I would go to Art Therapy, but good luck with that

quasi's avatar

I’ll vouch for art therapy, as an artist I think I can see how it would be helpful.

SuperMouse's avatar

I would love to take my boys to art therapy to get a different perspective on how they are dealing with the divorce. I am pretty sure things would come out there that don’t come out in their regular sessions with a family therapist.

LostInParadise's avatar

Would someone please explain what art therapy is? I would guess that the patient would be required to interpret feelings through art, but that is just a guess.

MissAusten's avatar

I have a good friend who majored in (and worked at) music therapy. I may be wrong, but I thought it was meant to compliment “traditional” therapy, especially with groups of people who may not be able to verbalize. Children, the elderly, the disabled, etc. When you say “art therapy,” that’s what I think of as well. I’m also looking forward to a definition here, because what I’m thinking off may be way off base.

Clair's avatar

This is art therapy.
I think it could be fun. I would love to have so many different ways to express my creativity. I used to paint and draw a lot and I think that helped me de-stress a lot.

YARNLADY's avatar

If art therapy was part of the treatment recommended by my practictioner I would use it. I have seen it used successfully in the volunteer work I do at nursing homes, and it was an important part of the work in the Foster Family program. Many rehabilitation agencies employ art therapy as part of their treatment.

I developed my own type, using needlepoint techniques on plastic canvas. I was never very successful with the standard, painting, drawing, sculpture type of art.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I would recommend art therapy before recommending medication.

rooeytoo's avatar

I tried it once when I was first starting counseling and it was very helpful in bringing to light feelings I could not yet verbalize. In my art today, I often see signs that indicate what is going on inside my head even if it is not something I am consciously aware of.
I would go again if I felt the need.

I think it is especially helpful with children who are not capable of verbalizing their feelings. Hmmmmm, might work for those adult males who say they can’t express their feelings because they are a man.

susanc's avatar

Thanks, all.

@DarkScribe, yes, sometimes someone makes unhappy paintings, they scare or startle the maker, who brings them to someone else to help figure out the message.

Thanks @Clair for giving the Wikipedia link. I find it strangely difficult to describe this work because I’m so used to it.

I did find, in my long years of practicing this craft, that many people left off the
“art” part of the therapy after awhile in favor of language. This can be a sign of returning strength. As a bunch of you said – some people, and many people at some times, can’t verbalize. Once they can verbalize, art therapy becomes “regular” therapy.

There are primary art therapists (like me) and supportive art therapists (in larger institutions, where patients have “real” therapists to talk with). In hospitals the art therapists are usually supposed to be nice but not challenging. @casheroo: yes! soothing! But that is not the limit to the capability of the process.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I’ve never heard of this before, until now. I would definitely consider it, simply because the more time goes by, I think I would benefit talking to a counselor. Because I’m so quiet and shut off from strangers, however, I have never bothered and would not ever bother, because I can not open up to a stranger in person. I’m already artistic, so I think something like this might benefit me more than regular therapy. I just can’t open up enough for the typical stuff to help me. Interesting. Thanks for posting. :)

Dog's avatar

My answer may be bias because art is the way I express myself for a living but I have seen kids who were an emotional mess benefit from creating art.

One summer a few years back there was a young boy who had been diagnosed ADHD. He had many emotional problems and would not sit still or concentrate. A few times I let come and paint in my studio and he would be very quiet for an hour or more at a time.

This experience made me think: perhaps since people like myself communicate through creativity, in this economy where the first programs cut from the cash-strapped schools are the arts, perhaps much of the behavioral problems we see are from kids frustrated because they have been cut off from their mode of communication.

So yes- I think art therapy is very good- and would go if I was not self-medicating on it already.

Kayak8's avatar

I have been struggling to actually find an art therapist. Unless they are associated with a clinical psychologist (at least around here), it seems that insurance doesn’t cover it.

If I were opening a practice, I guess I would promote that I took insurance (if I did), that the work area was a safe space to reconnect with the creative aspects of self. I would promote that one does NOT have to be artistic to benefit from art therapy. I would point out that all the art materials are included in the cost, etc. Oh, and based on the above, I would put in a short paragraph explaining what art therapy is! LOL

susanc's avatar

@Dog: “self-medicating on it already”, love it.
@Kayak8: this is what I was wondering about: what would a person want to know?
fabulous.

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