Art therapy provides individuals of all ages with an opportunity to communicate thoughts, feelings and ideas in healthier, more productive ways. Often, emotions and personal experiences can be too complex or difficult to put into words. Utilizing the creative arts in psychotherapy creates a unique opportunity for healing that is sometimes missing from traditional “talk therapy” approaches. You do not have to be an artist to benefit from art therapy; it is an individualized process that involves the exploration of many forms of creative expression within a therapeutic partnership. Art therapy can help you discover new ways to express yourself, find a positive outlet for growth and building skills, so you can successfully and sustainably make the changes you desire.
Art Therapists are mental health professionals that have educational training and professional experience utilizing the creative arts in psychotherapy to effectively and ethically help people of all ages recover from a variety of mental health and behavioral concerns. They are skilled at understanding how the visual arts (drawing, painting, sculpture, and other art forms), in conjunction with psychotherapeutic treatment approaches, can help people explore feelings, resolve conflicts, develop self-awareness, learn new skills, overcome addictions, improve social-communication skills, reduce anxiety, strengthen self-concept and build self-esteem. Art therapy is a strength-based approach that can be integrated with a variety of theoretical counseling approaches (such as CBT, SFT, DBT, REBT and EMDR).
To read more about art therapy and review the code of ethics for art therapists, please visit website of the American Art Therapy Association (AATA): www.arttherapy.org
In New York State, art therapists can become licensed as mental health professionals. Licensure can be obtained when educational and professional experience requirements have been met and candidates pass a written examination. This serves as a measure of professional competency as well as provides a standard by which art therapists must ethically practice. To read more about the profession and standards of practice for Creative Arts Therapy, or to verify the license of or make a complaint against a licensee, please visit the website of the NYS Department of Education’s Office of the Professions: www.op.nysed.gov