Art therapy is the active use of arts and the creative process to address therapeutic goals. It is an experiential process; combining 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 benefit from art therapy! People often find that art therapy allows them to give form too and shape their ideas, thoughts, and experiences 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.
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 participate 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 and 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? 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 it just for children? No. While children can certainly benefit from art therapy, there is a large body of research supporting the use of the arts with adults experiencing a wide range of things that might bring them in to therapy.
6. This sounds like mumbo jumbo.... The arts have always been used to help people heal and connect. When we consider cave paintings and petroglyphs, ritual masks and dances, folk songs and traditions, 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 utilizes a combination of arts and psychology in a way that is empirically researched and theoretically grounded. Golden Vibes art therapists are grounded in a theory of art therapy called the Expressive Therapies Continuum which 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!