What is Art Therapy?
Art therapy is the active use of arts and the creative process to address therapeutic goals. It is an experiential process for clients. Art therapy combines hands-on engagement in expressive activities with verbal discussion.
Participants do not need to be artists and no advanced artistic skills are necessary. If you can draw a stick person you can enjoy the benefits of art therapy! People often find that art therapy allows them to give form to and shape their ideas, thoughts, and experiences. Often, in ways that they could not do through verbal means alone.
We will work together to use traditional (ex. drawing, painting, and sculpting) and non-traditional (ex. arranging natural objects, taking photographs, and upcycling) materials to help you express and explore your experiences.
Frequently Asked Questions About Art Therapy
1. Do I need to be an artist (or have any artistic skills)?
No. If you can draw a stick figure, gather and arrange a few objects on a table or scribble on a paper you can take part in and benefit from art therapy! Art therapy is about active exploration and it requires no skill, training, or special talents. We will happily work with you to find the art materials and styles that best match your needs. Then, we will help you express and explore your experiences through the arts.
2. What are visual arts?
Visual arts include traditional art forms like drawing, painting, and sculpting as well as less traditional art forms like photography, collage, gathering and arranging objects, using recyclable and natural materials. The arts are a way to help express and explore and the art created does not need to be museum quality. Instead, it is about learning to connect to your body sensations, emotions, thoughts, and experiences through active engagement with the creative process.
3. What do you mean by "arts"? What modalities do you use?
Expressive arts therapists are trained to help their clients use visual art, movement, music, drama, and writing to address therapeutic goals. You do not need to be an artist, dancer, musician, or actor to participate. Instead, we will guide and work alongside you to have meaningful experiences using these modalities in a simple and accessible manner.
4. What if I'm not creative enough for art therapy?
No worries! We will work together to find what inspires you and to determine how you can interact with the world in a way that works with who you are. Some folks like to draw or take photographs, some write or move their bodies while others find that cooking and gardening provide pathways to expression and healing.
5. Is art therapy just for children?
No. Of course, children can certainly benefit from art therapy. There is a large body of research supporting the use of the arts with adults. Including, adults dealing with a wide range of things that might bring them into therapy.
6. Are you sure art therapy is real? This sounds like mumbo jumbo...
The arts have always been used to help people heal and connect. Consider cave paintings and petroglyphs, ritual masks and dances, folk songs, and traditions. Of course, we can't help but be reminded of the role the arts play in our lives. Art therapy grew out of this healing tradition. It uses a combination of arts and psychology. A combo that works and is well-researched and grounded in theory. Golden Vibes' art therapists use art therapy called the Expressive Therapies Continuum. The theory weaves together neuroscience, information processing, art-making, and human experience. As art therapy is active, we encourage you to give it a try to see what happens for you!
Begin Art Therapy in Madison, WI
When you are ready to start art therapy, we are here for you. We know that getting started with a new therapist can itself be a source of stress and worry, so we make it simple! Our Madison, WI-based art therapists can even help you anywhere in the state with online therapy in Wisconsin. To get started, just follow these three steps:
Call our office at 608-571-0558 or e-mail us to make an appointment
Start your journey to a more fulfilling and creative life today
More Mental Health Services at Golden Vibes Counseling Center
At our Madison, WI therapy clinic, we want you to feel comfortable. We know you are a multi-faceted person with a wide range of needs and concerns. That's why we have a lot of different ways to serve you. From therapy in our chic, contemporary counseling space to expert online counseling in Wisconsin, we are ready to meet you where you are. Our professional therapists can help you using a variety of approaches including CBT, EMDR, and Brainspotting. These methods can help with sexual assault recovery, depression treatment, anxiety therapy, reproductive or maternal mental health, multicultural counseling, and more. We also specialize in LGBTQAI+ counseling and poly-affirming therapies and can assist with gender-affirming care. We truly look forward to meeting you and getting to know you as an individual.