WHAT IS

ART THERAPY?

Art therapy is a human service profession, which provides people with opportunities to develop emotional, physical and learning skills through art experiences. It is a form of counseling that en-courages self-growth and wholeness. It is based on the philosophy that we all have a creative, imaginative part of ourselves which can help us toward self-healing and give us guidance in ways not available to us on a conscious level.  Art-making becomes a “bridge” between the conscious and unconscious knowledge available to us.

 

Using simple art techniques and a variety of materials, the art therapist guides the self-learning process through observation, listening skills, interest, understanding and empathy.  The art therapist encourages both non-verbal and verbal expression through the use of gentle probing and leading questions during and after art production.

 

DO I NEED TO BE

TALENTED IN ART?

No! Whereas art education emphasizes the end product (a "pleasing piece of art"), art therapy emphasizes the process of creating as a means to self-knowledge.  Even the most tentative and simple attempts are accepted as healing, and therefore beneficial.  No judgment of talent is made.  No specific talent is sought or required.  The only requirement is that one participates with an open mind.

ISN’T THIS JUST

FOR CHILDREN?

Children to have a lot of courage and people of all ages can learn and grow.  Art therapy is one way a person can choose to explore personal growth.  Each adult has a child within that yearns to play and explore.

WHAT ARE SOME BENEFITS

OF ART  THERAPY?

[ Develops creativity and confidence in self- expression

[ Provides immediate access to unconscious conflicts and problems

[ Breaks through emotional blocks

[ Reconciles personality conflicts

[ Allows expression of negative feelings in a safe manner

[ Helps overcome apathy and isolation

[ Improves communication skills

[ Invites the inner child to come forth

[ Helps balance opposites from within

[ Creates opportunity for a more integrated sense of self to develop

[ Gives visual feedback for progress in therapy.....it’s fun.

WHAT KIND OF TRAINING IS

REQUIRED OF AN ART THERAPIST?

The American Art Therapy Association (AATA), formed in 1969, is the professional organization, which oversees educational and training requirements for art therapists.  Art therapists are required to hold a master’s degree. Training includes extensive study in art, counseling, and the history and practice of specific art therapy techniques. Clinical or agency experience is required prior to and following graduation as well as post-master’s hours of client contact. AATA confers the ATR (Art Therapist Registered) status after completion of this work and board approval.

 

WHY REFER TO AN

ART THERAPIST?

An art therapist is...

Š       very familiar with art media

Š       knows when to use media according to psychological developmental stage and ego strength

Š       familiar with image work and symbolism

Š       aware of affect contained in art and methods for attending to affect

Š       trained to work on a non-verbal level

Š       familiar with an intrinsic experience in art and can relate on a kinesthetic level

Š       able to facilitate breaking through emotional blocks, such as depression, denial, etc.

Š       knowledgeable about when not to use art

 

WHEN TO REFER TO AN

ART THERAPIST

When...the images portray self-inflicted harm

          …images have apparent suicidal content

          ...images are disturbing over a period of time

         ...clients’ trauma occurred in early childhood

         ...client expresses self more non-verbally than verbally

 

Phylis R. Tomlinson, LPC, LMFT, ATR-BC

Counselor and Art Therapist experienced in working/growing with children and adults, workshop presenter and relationship coach.  Helping clients grow personally and improve effectiveness in relationships and daily living.

Office: 4010 Bluebonnet, Suite 109

Houston, TX 77025

PH: 713.668.6558 phylistomlinson@gmail.com