Art Therapy

What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy is where the creative arts and psychology intersect. Art therapy can help to cultivate self-expression, create coping skills, manage stress, and strengthen sense of self. It can be used with a wide range of client populations, including people who face terminal illness, children with behavior problems, survivors of abuse and trauma, and families experiencing transition. Art therapists are Master’s-level mental health professionals trained in psychological theory and practice in tandem with the use of art media. Art therapists work in a variety of settings including mental health agencies, hospitals, schools, wellness centers, community programs, residential programs, shelters, correctional programs, and private practice. Materials we might use are paper, crayons, oil and chalk pastels, collage, markers, paint, and coloring sheets.

Counseling can take many different forms, depending on the therapist, the client, and the relationship they build with one another. Sometimes our experiences are difficult to put into words, but can more readily be expressed through art making. Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses art materials to gain insight into underlying thoughts and feelings.

In my practice, I start with a base of traditional talk therapy, and add art therapy techniques where appropriate. We will work together to identify where processing creatively might be helpful, and if it feels too overwhelming, we can talk about what that means. Art making isn’t just for the kids; everyone is capable of creative expression, even the adult who hasn’t picked up a crayon or paintbrush since elementary school. Art making in session is about the process, not product; sometimes it is a relaxation tool, and sometimes we stumble into a big moment.

More information about art therapy can be found at www.atwb.org, www.arttherapyalliance.org, or www.arttherapy.org.

Want to schedule an individual session? Appointments are available starting November 1, 2017. Click here to email me. 
[My office is located in central Lisbon, near the Rato metro.]

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