What is Art Therapy

central florida family1Art therapy is an established mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of people at all ages. It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight.

Art therapy is a licensed field of practice in New York state. Like clinical social workers, counselors, and marriage & family therapists, a licensed art therapist must have a Masters degree, pass a board exam, and have at least 1500 hours of post-graduate supervised experience.

Art therapy integrates the fields of human development, visual arts, and the creative process with models of counseling and psychotherapy. In general, art therapy is used with children, adolescents, adults, older adults, groups, and families to assess and treat:

  • anxiety, depression, and other mental/emotional problems
  • mental illness
  • substance abuse and other addictions
  • family and relationship issues
  • abuse and domestic violence
  • social/emotional difficulties related to disability or illness
  • personal trauma, post traumatic stress disorder and loss
  • physical, cognitive, and neurological problems
  • psychosocial difficulties related to medical illness

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For more information about the practice of art therapy visit: www.arttherapy.org

Course of Treatment

Clients can expect a solution-oriented, strengths-based approach to art therapy. It is recommended that clients commit to three months of therapy. After that initial engagement period, we can more accurately discuss the expected length of our work together.  Frequency and number of appointments are determined by the needs of the individual client.  Typically my clients meet with me 1 to 2 times per week.

Confidentiality

Clients have the right to expect complete confidentiality except as required by law:

  1. If the client indicates a threat of serious harm to self or others
  2. If therapist has reasonable suspicion of abuse or neglect of a child, or abuse, neglect, or exploitation of an incapacitated or dependent adult
  3. Court order
  4. Voluntary release signed by the client or guardian