What is Art Therapy?
Art psychotherapy/ therapy is an evidence-based psychological therapy delivered by a trained art psychotherapist/ therapist. These terms are interlinked, and one tends to be British based and the other American.
Check your therapist is qualified.
The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) regulates Arts Psychotherapy. To check if a therapist is qualified, look at the register. Art therapist training requires them to attend therapy and have regular supervision by a senior therapist, and this supervision will continue throughout their career.
What does Art Therapy involve?
You will meet in a private room with your art therapist Anita, or via zoom link. They will provide the art materials if you choose to attend in person. If you participate via zoom, you will need a small selection of basic art materials.
The creative session is not a recreational activity or an art lesson. Primarily, the art materials and images help you explore feelings and emotions. They are also enjoyable, and you may learn some art processes.
You do not need to be “good” at art or have any experience, just a willingness to try. Don’t worry; the art therapist cannot read your mind through the images made but will work with you to unpick some of the layers.
During the art-making process, you may wish to work in silence, observed by your art therapist, and discuss the art after; however, they may make art alongside you and talk throughout the process. It will depend on your requirements.
Who does Art Therapy work for?
Art is a language suited to unconscious exploration, so suitable for children, young people, adolescents and adults who may find talking about emotions difficult.
On average, how many sessions are needed?
It is difficult to predict how many sessions will be needed as everyone is different. I would say to allow at least 6/12 sessions to begin with. Art therapy can be effective for achieving short-term goals. Its main advantage is that it can communicate in a non-verbal form.
What mental health difficulties can Art Therapy help with?
There is growing evidence that art therapy is an effective intervention for a variety of mental health conditions, such as:
- Eating disorders
- Hearing voices
- Attachment issues
- Emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse
- Anger and anger management,
- Relationship difficulties
- Low self-confidence
Art Therapy can be helpful if you identify as neurodivergent, i.e. you are autistic or with attention and hyperactivity differences (ADHD).
Who is Anita Roye?
Anita is a qualified art psychotherapist registered with The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and a member of both The British Society of Art Therapists (BAAT) and The Black African Asian Therapist Network (BAATN).
I have used art as a form of expression for many years, and it has helped with my mental health by providing an outlet when I could not find the words to communicate feelings. As well as art making, I love walking in the woodlands. It gives an endless source for my artwork and provides the space for reflection and calm.
Being an art psychotherapist means my practice is grounded in the concept that our unconscious can hold the answers to how we behave and feel.
Using a mixture of talking and art-making as forms of communication can help a person to understand their feelings and identify patterns of relating, which can foster healing and mental well-being. Art psychotherapy is a powerful relational tool that can be beneficial, especially if you find it difficult to express your feelings.
Anita values the importance of building on the foundations of my practice to include an intersectional framework. Her approach recognises disadvantages, disability, and racism within societal structures and how these can impact your mental and physical health.
Building a safe, trusting relationship is at the centre of this work as we make this journey together. Being “good at art” is not a requirement, only a willingness to be curious and try.