"Art Therapy is not only for people experiencing emotional difficulty - it can heighten creativity and enrich life." (BCAT, Website)
Art Therapy is a profession operating under provincial health service which helps individuals externalize and organize their thoughts and feelings that may otherwise be difficult to articulate. The guided creative process as well as the end art product can be used to enhance a person’s emotional, spiritual, social, cognitive, and physical well-being. This practice integrates the process of creative art expressions with models of counselling and psychotherapy to enhance emotional, physical, and mental health. People of all ages can benefit from art therapy and previous art experience is not necessary as the focus is on personal expression.
Who Is Art Therapist?
Art Therapy requires specialized academic and professional training at post-graduate level. Art Therapists are certified and registered under provincial art therapy associations and are obligated to follow the standards in the code of ethics and practice as defined in BCATA and CATA.
Art therapists are knowledgeable about human development, psychological theories, clinical practice, spiritual, multicultural and artistic traditions, and the healing potential of art. They use art in treatment, assessment and research, and provide consultations to allied professionals. Art therapists work with people of all ages: individuals, couples, families, groups and communities. They provide services, individually and as part of clinical teams, in settings that include mental health, rehabilitation, medical and forensic institutions; community outreach programs; wellness centers; schools; nursing homes; corporate structures; open studios and independent practices.
Art Therapy provides the participants with an opportunity to encounter personal challenges and problems, to resolve conflicts and to explore potentials by facilitate self-awareness and understanding, through the use of visual art media and materials.
Art Therapy encourages the expression of emotions through a variety of artistic activities. Art Therapy is a very person-centred experience. Each client is unique and the therapist follow the idea of client response specify . The idea that illustrates the therapist's ability to respond to the unique circumstances of each client and provide the specific interpersonal experiences the client needs to change.
Building clients’ self-esteem and resilient capacity to cope with their everyday realities.
Being present and witnessing are key points in art therapy. Active engagement with the clients’ stories help discover new solutions and new resources.