Art Therapy North Avoca Central Coast Jhanie

What is transpersonal art therapy?

Art Therapy is the use of the art making and creative processes in a therapeutic setting, to express feelings and explore experiences. It can be something as simple as a squiggle, a physical gesture or a thumb pressed into a lump of clay.

It is a simple and wonderfully freeing way to access our inner wisdom as well as a supportive path to healing. Art therapy is a creative and transpersonal approach that can be used to connect with and explore your inner world. You do not need to be an artist to try art therapy, with the support of your art therapist you can tune in to yourself and allow your creativity to come out.

Who can benefit from art therapy?

Art therapy can help in a broad range of areas, and is very beneficial for children, adolescents and adults.

It can help people to find their life's purpose, and to have passion and fulfillment in their lives. It is supportive in going after your dreams, achieving your goals, and in becoming the best you can be.

Art therapy can help with physical and emotional healing, depression, anxiety, grief and self esteem.It is supportive in times of big life change, such as change in career, migration, divorce. It is supportive during physical changes such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. It can be very supportive for patients or supporters of people with illness or addiction.

What does a typical art therapy session like?

At the beginning of the session you may talk a little bit about an issue that is current in your life, or a past experience that you cannot seem to move on from, or you may not talk at all and prefer to just “do some art” and see what emerges from that. I listen to what bought you to art therapy in the first place, and together we work out a plan for how to progress to meet your needs.  Most people talk a little bit, do some art and talk a little bit more at the end.

Do I have to be artistic?

No, you do not need to be creative or artistic at all to receive the maximum benefits from your art therapy sessions.

How does art help in therapy?

Using art in an art therapy session, facilitated by an experienced and qualified arts therapist, helps to release tension, express difficult or overwhelming feelings safely, and provides an opportunity to step back and view the problem or issue from a new perspective, and integrate experiences holistically. Art is a subconscious language and it can bring its own gifts, wisdom and healing through the art therapy processes.

How long is a typical session?

An art therapy session is usually 1 hour in length.  Some clients request a longer session of 1.5 hours. 

How long before I can expect to see results from my art therapy sessions?

Everyone is unique and therefore results vary depending on many factors including the presenting issue, the home and work environment, length of time you have been experiencing the symptoms, age it developed, how long you have been living like this, etc.  I have had some people say they feel immediate benefits after 1 session, other people may require weekly or fortnightly sessions over a period of months. It depends on your individual needs and your goals for therapy.  Most people report some benefits after a series of sessions.

Do I have to do art if I don’t want to in the art therapy session?

No you do not have to make art if you do not want to. I listen and adapt the session according to your needs and what you would like to do. The session is directed by you. I may suggest an art process, but no one is forced to talk or make art if they do not want to.

Do you use any other techniques or modalities in art therapy sessions?

Yes, I do. For children I use a range of toys, art materials, and a sand tray. For adults and adolescents I might access mindfulness techniques, guided relaxation, focusing, sand tray therapy, movement, voice, gestalt, and specialist arts materials . I select the intervention based on your needs.

Are these sessions covered by medicare?

No these services are currently not available through Medicare. I do offer concession rates for the unemployed or students. Please check with your Private Health Insurer for the provision of Art Therapy cover.

Studies of the success of art therapy.

Art therapy and creative therapies have been shown to have extensive healing effects of clients of any age, helping with healing, grief, trauma, depression, anxiety, dementia, and more. Below are some exerts from articles on studies of healing with Art Therapy, and the links to the full articles.

'(Art Therapy)…increases… patients' sense of control, promotion of wellness and the healthy aspects of patients' lives, reductions in pain and increases in immunity, decreases in anxiety, and reductions in psychological and physical symptoms… a form of relaxation and anxiety reduction.'

(The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health)

'Women… described ongoing cancer-related difficulties such as fear for the future, pain, sleeplessness, role loss, activity restriction, reduced self-confidence, and altered social relationships. Engaging in different types of visual art (textiles, card making, collage, pottery, watercolor, acrylics) helped these women in 4 major ways. First, it helped them focus on positive life experiences, relieving their ongoing preoccupation with cancer. Second, it enhanced their self-worth and identity by providing them with opportunities to demonstrate continuity, challenge, and achievement. Third, it enabled them to maintain a social identity that resisted being defined by cancer. Finally, it allowed them to express their feelings in a symbolic manner, especially during chemotherapy.'

(The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health)

'...art therapy for health issues: asthma; depression; and coping with breast cancer. Results were significant… art therapy lowered anxiety and improved quality of life and self-concept, with benefits persisting six months after treatment.… fewer depressive and stress-related symptoms at the conclusion of the trial and again at follow up.'

(Expressive Arts Review 2013)

'…the process of art therapy provides a safe vehicle by which the therapist and child are able to form a therapeutic bond. The artistic effort provides a means by which the child can express experiences, memories, and emotions that he or she may not be able to put into words, thereby providing a common language by which the child and therapist can communicate.'

(The Arts in Psychotherapy)