This is definitely a commonly asked question! And although I practice both talk and art therapy, I am more leaning towards the benefits of art therapy in this article as there is less information about this topic compared to the various forms of talk therapy, if you are looking for some more information about talk therapy please check out this link. To start art therapy does not rely solely on the verbal as a means of self-awareness, exploration of experiences, and understanding of feelings. The art acts as a gateway to explore things in ways that can allow clients to self-regulate through the art. Verbal therapy approaches can also offer ways to self-regulate with teaching relaxation tools and utilizing meditation. As I have the experience of providing both talk therapy and art therapy, I find the art intrinsically taps into this ability to open up more avenues of reflection and self-understanding. Talk therapy also has its numerous benefits, and can be a great option for many.
Additionally, I have had the privilege of being witness to many clients healing journeys of trauma through the primary use of art therapy in sessions over the years, and can see the positive impact the art holds as a container for varying degrees of traumatic experience from small t to big T traumas. The art allows us to access the visual cortex of the brain where traumatic memories are stored, and with this it can allow a different experience of healing than talk therapy. Also, I have found in support work for trauma as well as with other presenting concerns client’s have, that there is a positive impact of imagery on supporting building safety, connection to strengths, and can serve as subconscious reminders of a person’s capabilities and possibilities when empowering imagery is used in ways to promote the client’s goals.
With this said art therapy is not for everyone just like talk therapy is not for everyone. Art Therapy is usually not a good fit for those who are highly skeptical or resistant, some clients have some skepticism and resistant which can be normal as many adults have been conditioned to believe they are not creative or artistic. Art therapy has also been found not to be effective in the treatment of schizophrenia, according to the World Journal of Psychiatry.
If you need additional support reach out to me, I am Nicole Levy, and I am here as your helping hand, let’s get started, book your complimentary initial consult today https://www.mindfulhealingjourney.ca/#/
I am a Registered Psychotherapist and Art Therapist. And I have been writing this blog since May 2021 about various topics including parenting, supporting adult and child mental health, and holistic approaches. The intention of this blog is to provide resources and information to others, however it is not intended to take the place of therapy. If you have any questions about anything written please reach out to me.