My identity as an artist is very much grounded in my training as an art psychotherapist. Art psychotherapy (also called art therapy) is a psychological therapy that uses art making as a way to express and work through difficult feelings and explore solutions to personal problems. It uses the unique qualities of the art making process to help people to express, reflect on and understand emotions. Making images can stimulate storytelling, and can help to access more unconscious feelings. The trained art psychotherapist helps the individual to use the images made in therapy to make sense of feelings, find meaning and bring about change. No previous experience of art making is necessary to have art psychotherapy as the focus is on expression rather than artistic skill or ability. Art psychotherapists work with people of all ages with all sorts of mental health problems and psychological distress.
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