Art Therapy.

What is Art Therapy?

Art Therapy combines the creative process and psychotherapy, facilitating self-exploration and understanding. Using imagery, colour and shape as part of this creative therapeutic process, thoughts and feelings can be expressed that would otherwise be difficult to articulate. Working with metaphor and symbols clients can uncover answers to questions lingering, and healing to wounds left unattended.

It is a form of expression which may give a voice to things that may be difficult to put into words.

Everyone is creative; it’s all about the process.

Why would someone see an Art Therapist?

Art therapy may help children, adolescents, and adults explore their emotions, improve self-esteem, manage addictions, relieve stress, improve symptoms of anxiety and depression, and cope with a physical illness or disability. Art therapists work with individuals, couples, and groups in a variety of settings. There is an artist within all of us; however no artistic ‘talent’ is necessary for art therapy to succeed, because the therapeutic process is not about the artistic value of the work, but rather about finding associations between the creative choices made and a client’s inner life. The artwork can be used as a springboard for reawakening memories and telling stories that may reveal messages and beliefs from the unconscious mind.

End result: Cathartic release, creating a container for emotions, expression of emotions, finding healing for self, emotions living outside the self in the art. You hold the answers for your healing inside of yourself, you can see it expressed in the art.

Jess Winnicki BA, BSW, RSW, DKATI is our Art Therapist and is an integral member of our circle of care team, here at Safe Harbour Therapy.

Jess Winnicki

Social Work/Art Therapy

What would an art therapy session look like if someone hasn’t attended before?

As with any form of therapy, your first session will consist of your talking to the therapist about why you have sought help and learning what the therapist has to offer. Together, you will come up with a treatment plan that involves creating some form of artwork. The sessions can vary from focused and directed (as based on what the client is working on) to free flowing and spontaneous. There will be a variety of art supplies available to the client. Processing of the art work looks and feels very similar to a counselling session, with one poignant difference, the art you have created is in the space with us and we bring our session continually back to the art, to make meaning, to ground, and to understand.


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