What the heck is art therapy?
Art therapy is basically a mix of art and psychology. Art is innately therapeutic. The process of creating artwork can be an emotional release OR a mode of communication. We may talk about an art product or the process of creating, discussed. In this way, the art itself may become a springboard to further conversation.
The use of art materials can serve as a non-threatening approach to stressful topics AND a playful way to interact and build rapport and trust. There is not always a comprehensible finished product at the end of an art therapy session. Instead, the process is seen as equally meaningful.
art and art therapy
How are they different?
One key difference between art and art therapy is the process and product. In art, value is determined by the quality of the finalized product. In art therapy, process is frequently more significant than a finished product.
Another difference is meaning and interpretation. In art, the artist’s meaning may be interpreted by an audience and critiqued or criticized. A finished art product may be interpreted as “good” or “bad”. In art therapy, the artist alone makes meaning. There is NO “right” or “wrong” product in art therapy.