What is Art  Therapy?

About Art Therapy

Are you having trouble expressing yourself through words?

If so, this may be the perfect method for you.

Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses the creative process of making art to improve and enhance the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, to develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight.

Art therapy is used with children, adolescents, adults, older adults, groups, and families to assess and treat all sorts of disorders.  Anxiety, depression, eating disorders, trauma, along with many other mental and emotional problems and disorders are just a few of the areas that can be helped. 

With eating disorders, symptoms tend to numb and camouflage the self.  I  frequently encourage the use of art therapy and journaling as a form of self expression.  You might write a letter to your body and/or to your eating disorder.  You may do a life-size body tracing or create a life-size doll.  These are all ways of reaching deeper inside the self to figure out who you are and what you are feeling.  The goal is to reduce your symptoms so that you can begin to work on yourself.


The Lost Years

by a patient

The simplest of things seem difficult now

The opening of the eyes,

The fluidity of the days, the

Chewing and the swallowing of the food


I can’t even unbutton my shirt

Without crying anymore,

Can’t even look at my own legs

In the mirror anymore. Christ,

I barely do anything but

Starve and run, tap my toes and

Cry anymore


All in hopes of becoming

Something worthy of being touched

Something other then this, forcing

My ribs outward, my

Stomach back


And with that I have made my father cry

Placed myself between hospital sheets

Spent holidays with my fingers

Half way down my throat


I am almost gone and

I want nothing more than to return to

the world

That I know the textures of

Relearn the normalcies that

I have forgotten, regain life


Demand from anorexia that she

Gives everything that she has

Stolen from me

Back again

Take a look at the: American Art Therapy Association:  http://www.arttherapy.org/index.htm

life-sized doll created by a patient

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