Why Art Therapy?

In Maryland, Art Therapists are licensed professional psychotherapists who may provide services involving the application of counseling principles and methods in the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and amelioration of psychological problems, emotional conditions, or mental conditions of individuals or groups. (Source: Maryland Health Occupations Code Section 17-308).

Why Art Therapy, when you can choose from among Licensed Professional Counselors, Social Workers, Psychologists, Marriage and Family Therapists, Addictions Therapists or others – why would you choose to work with an Art Therapist?

An art therapist knows about emotions and mental health, like other counselors. They also know about making art. And they know how to invite your own creative process to have a say in your therapy.

No art skills or talent required – if you can make a mark or squeeze a ball of clay, you have all you need to take your life in your hands, say what you never had words to say, and choose where to go from there.

Art Therapy can help ordinary people, who have everyday problems or big, life-altering challenges, turn those problems into extraordinary opportunities to live life in full color.

Add it all up — your imagination, art supplies, and nonjudgmental guidance — and see what happens:

  • Curiosity
  • Expression
  • Focus
  • Sensation
  • Fun
  • Connection
  • Learning
  • Letting Go
  • Growth
  • Trust
  • Purpose
  • Joy

If you’re looking for more, here are a few other things to consider:

  • Art Therapy involves the body, mind and spirit working together to empower change in the whole person. During the art process, you’ll employ your body’s movement to wield pen or brush, your thoughts to locate and arrange your images on the page. Your emotions may be summoned up by colors, or they may influence what color you reach for. Your senses kick in as the crayon slides over the page, and your spirit will rise with the feeling of flow as you allow your creation to emerge.
  • Your creativity provides the foundation for personal growth. Every individual is born with the ability to be creative, a skill that sometimes lies dormant in us, but may be revived at any point in life.
  • Art Therapy activates and links multiple areas of the brain, enhancing growth of new neural pathways that open the mind to new possibilities and cement new learning more deeply.
  • Art Therapy allows for safe expression of complex feelings, ideas and memories too difficult for words. Artwork can buffer strong memories and emotions; once contained on the page, they can be closed up and put away for another time instead of continuing to churn inside you.
  • Art Therapy promotes a state of ‘mindfulness’ by helping to focus on relevant issues and on the immediate experience of the here and now. Staying in the present is nearly unavoidable while you are adding color and shape to something before your own eyes.
  • Art Therapy engages multiple sensory components, especially advantageous in working with autism, trauma, eating disorders, substance abuse and dissociation. Art therapy can enhance sensory integration and build tolerance for sensory stimulation for children and adults with heightened sensitivity.
  • Art Therapy and children are a natural match. Children can often successfully draw about their issues although their vocabulary and verbal understanding are limited. Indeed, therapy can seem like play to children while they learn to regulate emotions and build self-esteem based on a sense of accomplishment.
  • Art Therapy can be fun for adults too. Psychotherapy does not always have to be challenging and emotionally painful. A playful approach permits the safe learning of life lessons.
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