What is an art therapy session like?

No prior art experience is necessary. Art therapy is not really about the ‘art’. No one but you and I will ever see what you make (unless you choose otherwise).

Each session you will have paper and paint, markers, pastels and coloured pencils, clay and collage available to choose from. One work often takes the full 50 minutes, but other times several creations are made, perhaps using many of the materials.

What matters is how the creating makes you feel, and what meaning you find in your images. Plus the act of painting, scribbling, forming clay, using markers or pastels can be a wonderful release!

You and your art are unique, and an art therapist can help you explore what you see in your creations. Sometimes the shapes and images you make don’t allow interpretation. Other times, the images evoke sadness or fear. That is why art therapy is experienced together. It can help you hold any feelings of deep distress and disturbance safely and help you make sense of what comes up, what options you may have, and what direction you may choose to take.

Sometimes you will not feel inspired. Occasionally you will experience an emptiness and lack of ideas. Facing the feelings and revisiting past sadness and fear can lead you to a juncture where decisions need to be made.

Society teaches us to bury our feelings and hide our fears and discontent. With art, you are allowed to honour the feelings you have. You have a remedy for the emptiness, which is to take the first creative step into the void and just paint!

Crisis points often lead to new possibilities that wouldn’t have existed otherwise. If you can find some consistent relief about a subject, your energy will shift, and the feeling of being paralyzed will be replaced with good-feeling, action ideas.

It doesn’t take an artist to use art therapy for healing or as a catalyst for change. It takes a spark of hope and a little bit of courage.