Art therapy is an integrated process that uses active art-making, creative processes, and applied psychological theory to help those with depression, anxiety, trauma, and other psychological difficulties, as well as those with autism, ADHD, and developmental delays.
Services provided in the greater Los Angeles area.
Through integrative methods, art therapy engages the mind, body, and spirit in ways that are distinct from verbal articulation alone.
Children: Through expressive art therapy, children can enhance social development and support without the feelings of judgment from parents, peers, and their speech therapist. Not only does this give children the opportunity to appreciate differences, but also learn to accept other perceptions. Often used as an emotional outlet, expressive art therapy can help children develop a better understanding of their feelings. Whether it is being hurt or angry, happy or excited, children can put these emotions into a drawing when it is not easy to describe in words. This creates an opening for conversations and more opportunities to express their thoughts and feelings.
Adolescents: Art therapy uses materials such as paint, oil pastels, markers, clay or crayons as a means of self-expression. The process of working with the materials and creating a final product helps troubled teens gain self-understanding, learn better coping methods and work through problems.
ADHD: Children with ADHD build mental flexibility by problem-solving any obstacles they encounter while making art – like coloring outside a line, or gluing a piece in the wrong spot. Making art creates natural moments to express thoughts and feelings in an environment that is often less threatening than talk therapy.
Autism: Just some of the ways in which art therapy is useful to children on the autism spectrum include: Enhanced communication through creative expression. Improved imagination and greater abstract thinking. The ability to build stronger relationships while encouraging children with autism to see other people's perspectives.
Developmental Delays and Developmental Disabilities: Art interventions can assist those with language skill impairments by providing them with a form of communication and creative self‐expression to help individuals with DD feel empowered, helping to promote personal and social development.
Trauma: Using art to express emotion accesses both visually stored memory and body memory, as not only does it enable people to create images, but the use of art materials such as clay and paint can reconnect them to physical sensation. They may be cut off from their bodily senses, particularly in cases of physical and sexual abuse. Some researchers have suggested that the senses of touch and sight connect directly to our brain’s fear center (Lusebrink, 2004), which is why art therapy is ideally placed to work with traumatic memory.
Anxiety: The theory behind art therapy suggests drawing, coloring, painting, and sculpting can help you tune into and express painful or difficult feelings you have trouble putting into words. Drawing and coloring can be a helpful tool for anyone seeking new ways to manage anxiety symptoms.
Depression: Research shows that art therapy helps treat depression by providing a unique way to express feelings that might be difficult to vocalize. Opening up to a complete stranger can often be difficult to do, but given a theme and some art supplies, people are able to channel their emotions and feelings into creative art. Creating something can even often facilitate the exploration of emotions that you weren’t aware of having.
Art skills are not a requirement to participate in art therapy. The focus is on the process, not the product. Art therapy may include painting, drawing, photography, writing, sculpture, and just about anything that can be used to enhance the creative process.
Anyone can benefit from art therapy. As long as you are open to exploring different methods of self-expression, you can unleash your inner artist and tap into creativity you may not have known was in you all along. The goal of art therapy is not to become a successful artist, but to use any form of art as a way of finding meaning and connection in your life. Creating something via any artistic platform is a form of self-expression and a way to get in touch with your feelings.
Questions or unsure this will help? Feel free to contact us. We would gladly answer any questions or concerns that you may have!