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Art Therapy

How does Creative and Expressive Arts Therapy work?

Psychotherapy is a collaborative approach that involves therapeutic conversations and interactions bThe process of Creative and Expressive Arts Therapies can aid individuals in expressing and structuring their internal thoughts and emotions, which can be challenging to communicate. The creative process under guidance, as well as the final product, can both be utilized to strengthen a person’s physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Expressing how we feel can be difficult and sometimes impossible. Through art, we can begin to communicate and express ourselves. Creativity allows access and exploration at a different level. Words are not enough or perhaps you do not know how you feel. It can feel impossible to verbalise and express what we experience in words, and it can feel confusing to explain our stories out loud.

Creative and Expressive Arts Therapies is a type of psychotherapy which uses creative and artistic expression to promote healing and wellbeing. Art therapy belongs to a group of ‘Expressive Therapies’. These include Dance and Movement Therapy, Drama Therapy, Music Therapy, Narrative Therapy and Art Therapy. Art Therapists do not rely exclusively on verbal communication. They assist their clients to explore their emotions, improve communication, and develop new perspectives on their thoughts, emotions, and behaviours.

Each Arts Therapist has a specific master’s qualification that bridges the creative expression with psychology, theories, and practices, including but not limited to attachment, developmental, person-centred, psychodynamic, humanistic, and cognitive behavioural theories, as well as transpersonal, trauma informed, feminist, and cultural approaches. The theorists who have contributed to the development of expressive arts therapy have highlighted the significance of personal expression, creativity, imagination, and spontaneity in the healing process. They have also created specific techniques and practices that utilize the arts to promote personal growth and transformation. Arts therapists continue to specialise their client groups and evidence-based interventions.

Clients can access new possibilities for self-expression and develop a deeper understanding of their emotions, ideas, and experiences through engaging in creative activities which connect the mind and body experiences. All ages can benefit from Art Therapy, which is useful for treating a variety of mental health and psychosomatic conditions and developmental and neurological conditions such as, depression, anxiety, autism, ADHD, life changes, addiction, and trauma as well as personal growth, self-expression, and support in reaching your full potential in life. etween a therapist and a child or family. It can help children and families understand and resolve problems, modify behaviour, and make positive changes in their lives. There are several types of psychotherapy that involve different approaches, techniques, and interventions. At times, a combination of different psychotherapy approaches may be helpful. In some cases, a combination of medication with psychotherapy may be more effective.

Using the Feeling Centre of the Brain
Our whole body communicates and holds our stories and experiences, even if we cannot verbalise or remember the details. Working with non-verbal therapies, which integrates the top-down (cognitive/verbal) and the bottom-up (movement and breathwork) approaches by incorporating all the senses and ways of expressing in the feeling centre and is brain and body focused. This is helpful, especially if you are feeling ‘stuck’, need to process trauma and experiences or need a new perspective of your experiences and goals. This integration of the rational and emotional brain systems speaks to the human condition and whole person experience.
Do I need to be creative?

You do not need any creative talent or to have an interest in the arts to engage in Arts Therapies. The use of creativity is to allow the client to express themselves, with guidance from the Arts Therapist. You cannot get it wrong, as it is your experience!

No creative experience is needed.

The Art therapist meets you where you are each session, using different interventions to support you on each part of your therapeutic journey. You do not always have to create, talking is part of this process.

The Art therapist offers online individual, group therapy, and clinical supervision in-person and online in Qatar and globally.

How does an Art Therapy Session work?

We will have your intake/assessment sessions which will inform your treatment plan and therapy goals. Each session, the Art Therapist will explore what you are experiencing in the here and now, and the goals that you would like to reach with your sessions.

The art therapist will discuss your current experiences with you as well as the objectives you hope to accomplish. Reflecting creatively and verbally alongside the art making is incorporated in your interventions to support your wellness journey. You do not always have to make art and you do not always have to talk. The Arts Therapist acknowledges the different emotional states you may be in during the therapeutic process.

Visual Arts Materials Used in Art Therapy

You are free to explore different forms of creative expression using many items including, but not limited to:

  • Drawing/Painting: You can just use a pencil and a piece of paper, as well as any other colourful art materials and different mediums, such as clay. There is no upper limit to what you could use
  • Photography: Photographs or online applications can be used where we discuss pictures you have taken between sessions and edited or untouched, bringing in photographs to explore relationships and memories.
  • Collage: Using scissors and glue or digital applications
  • Digital Art: In person and online, you can also create art on your computer and share it with me, such as digital collages. We can edit and develop these in session.
  • Found objects: Natural objects such as stones, flower petals, leaves, shells are great to incorporate in art making.
  • Recycled objects:
  • Crafts: Any choice of crafts can be used.
  • Pottery/Clay: Clay may be used organically, with a plan and art therapy workshops can be facilitated using a ceramics studio to complete art works.
  • Poetry and Narrative: You can use words, stories, and poetry within your creative sessions as you like, as part of an image or separately.

You can create art spontaneously, with planning, multiple art works in one session or over more than one session. Sharing your artwork, thoughts and feelings is safe and your artwork will not be judged. It will be a means of self-expression and a tool to explore your unique experiences.

All sessions and artwork are treated with confidentiality just as your clinical notes. The artwork is kept and will be reviewed as part of your ending in therapy. You may choose to take it or leave it. Any artwork left with the clinic will be kept for 5 years before being confidentially disposed of.

Our Specialists

Patricia (Trish) Bedford

Art Therapist