Our Art Therapist
Justine has fourteen years experience in the field of counselling and mental health and works as an Art therapist and Counsellor with young people, children and adults. Justine is available for Clinical supervision to counsellors, mental health professionals and creative arts therapists. …Read more
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you anywhere.Albert Einstein
What is Art Therapy?
Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary means of communication. It can be a way to look at different aspects of your life from a new angle. It can offer a perspective you may not reach by talking things through or problem solving alone.
The Aus and NZ Arts Therapists Association defines it in this way:
“Arts therapy uses creative processes, including art making, drama, and movement to improve and enhance physical, mental and emotional well-being. It is suitable for all ages and many life situations, and can be done with individuals or groups. Arts therapy works by accessing imagination and creativity, which can generate new models of living, and contribute towards the development of a more integrated sense of self, with increased self awareness and acceptance.”
My framework for practice as a person-centred Counsellor also underpins my works as an Arts therapist. The guiding principle of being person-centred in my practice means that I work *with* you to develop strategies that will suit you and be meaningful within the context of your life.
A typical session
Every session with every person will be different. Some people see me only for Counselling and do not choose to work creatively so how we work is something we figure out together and re-visit as the therapy continues. An example of an art therapy session might go something like this: a person arrives and is troubled by an interaction with their partner. As therapist, I invite them to choose some materials to work with in the session and let them know that there will be approximately 25 minutes for making their piece and the remainder of the session will be discussing the work together. The person chooses clay and they slowly work on creating a small boat, like a rowboat. When the time has passed that was set for the task or whenever the person has finished (whichever comes first), we make a tidy space around the clay boat and look at it together. What qualities does it have? What was it like to create it? What questions does the person have about their boat (maybe they will wonder out loud if it will float?!). As therapist my role is to build on any observations or questions that arise from interacting with the piece. If the person notices that the boat is empty or without an ocean/river/stream, I may make the suggestion of adding these elements either in the current session if there is time or in a subsequent session. Please note, I share this example for the purpose of illustration, not because all sessions will contain these elements (taken from FAQ page of my website: http://www.adrawingroom.org)
Techniques used: collage making, clay, sculpture, ‘making things’ (three dimensional), sand-tray, using symbols to tell a story, drawing, paint, scribbling, psper folding. The only limitations are guided by the environment and the materials I have available (for example I cannot offer large scale stone carving!)
Who can benefit?
Anyone of any age is welcome, including children. Sometimes as adults we imagine that making things or spending time being creative is childish or not really something that adults have any time or use for. Perhaps if you think about the last time you made the effort to prepare a special meal or take a photo or play a challenging computer game, you can conjure up a positive feeling of passing time doing something that is not for financial or professional gain. It can be very pleasant to spend time in this way! An art therapy session is like this except that the intention is different- the intention is not solely to relax doing something pleasant, it is also to gain insight and awareness in regards to a life struggle. So in short, although art therapy is very suited to children because their expressive verbal language is not as developed as an adult’s, it is by no means ‘just for kids’. Not at all. (taken from FAQ page of my website: http://www.adrawingroom.org
I have undertaken much work supporting people of all ages with: depression, anxiety, complex trauma, eating and body image issues and grief and loss. In my other role within a school I work trans-culturally.