What is art therapy?

Art therapy has deep roots in modern psychotherapy dating as far back as the '50s. Many famous psychologists have stated that artmaking is an amazing way to express oneself and that it's good for mental health and our soul. Carl Jung, Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers all promoted art-making in their writings but the clever psychotherapist, Margaret Naumberg was the grandmother of art therapy. Way to rock Grandma Naumberg!

Self Love Art Therapy Guelph

Why I have the best job in the world as an art therapist

Did I mention I love love love art? Making, looking and talking about it? Let's face it, some of your emotions, thoughts and experiences are hard to put into words. Getting them out in your artwork is a great release providing insight and it's undeniably satisfyingly fun!

For the detail-oriented: Art therapy helps you express and process negative experiences, feelings and emotions. Talking about your art with the art therapist provides a great opportunity to learn more about yourself. It also helps with emotional release, improves creativity, and offers personal insight, coping strategies and positive self-growth.

What if I stink at art?

Art therapy is not about the end product and creating a beautiful masterpiece. Art therapy does not require artistic talent. No one judges your art. It is simply about freedom of expression with any colours or materials you see fit. It is about being free from the expectation of making something perfect.

What makes art therapy different from art classes?

Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy and involves a therapeutic relationship that is a safe and confidential place to share. It helps people work through mental and emotional issues. The art itself is not required to be beautiful or follow a set of rules, it is simply for self-expression. Art therapy allows the client to freely express themselves with whatever colours, medium or theme they wish. Art lessons teach techniques. I do give guidance on how to use unfamiliar materials but I allow the person to express themselves however they wish. 

Why would I see an art therapist and not a regular therapist?

I truly believe that every person has to find what is right for them. Art therapy is a type of psychotherapy that uses a person's creativity to gain a deeper understanding of oneself. Art therapy is not bound by words and language, but it uses images, colours, symbols and marks for expression. It is more tactile, physical and experiential than verbal thus it does not limit a person to verbal expression. Lastly, art therapy is really a fun thing to participate in.

What happens in an art therapy session?

Typically I check in with how you are feeling. You are not limited in what you say. In art therapy, my clients set the tone and say anything and everything. Very little shocks me now, except if you hate dogs. That I can not understand. I will ask what colours, materials and symbols may express your feelings in the art. After the art is finished I explore the messages in the art and reflect on what it means to you in order to gain a better understanding. You may be surprised at what comes out in your art-making for example, there may be tears, laughter, and past stories you share to help me understand. We will work through these things and be honoured in a safe space.

What types of clients do you see?

I work with mostly adults, teens and some children. A good majority of our client base has some form of anxiety, such as generalized anxiety disorder, stress/burnout and perfectionism. We treat people with trauma history, depression, grief and stress. However, art therapists are trained to work with many types of issues and see people as humans rather than a diagnostic labels.

Do you analyze or judge my artwork?

Nope! I am trained to view art through the use of materials and colours. In my art therapy practice, I let the person tell me what their art means to them. Without their personal description, the art judging would only be speculation.

What do you do with my artwork?

If we work together online, I take a screenshot of your art to keep in your file. In-person I take a picture for your file. The art shows how things are progressing from session to session.

Being a therapist, I belong to a regulatory body for my profession. Part of this is having a clinical supervisor. I meet with them an hour or two per month. When I chat with my supervisor about questions I have or if I need to unpack bearing witness to very traumatic information. I may show the artwork to them but they do not have any of your personal details nor do they retain any copies. The supervisor may make suggestions surrounding what art directives may be beneficial for a case.

If you do art therapy in person, the artwork is stored while it dries. If you are partial to your art, you are welcome to bring it home with you. Your creations are private and not shared with others, without permission. Naturally, due to space limitations, the artwork is not kept long-term. After art therapy sessions finish, we ask you to pick up your artwork. If you do not, we will give ample notice before we dispose of the work.

What is your privacy policy?

All of my client's personal information and sessions are private. The only time it is not private, is when a client says they are going to hurt themselves or someone else. In teen and children's cases, parents get updates but I discuss with the client what information they consent to share. The focus on sharing is when I feel it will benefit the client.

Are art therapy sessions covered by insurance?

If your insurance covers a Registered Psychotherapist or an Art Therapist you would be reimbursed for whatever your provider allows per session. However, we do not deal with insurance companies. Clients are required to pay for their sessions themselves and submit their receipts.

How long is an art therapy session?

Each art therapy session is 50 minutes long.

How much do sessions cost?

A one-on-one session is $160.00.

Group art therapy pricing varies according to the group. Click here for group info.

We have a sliding scale available for a few of our appointment slots.

Is there wheelchair access? 

This location does have wheelchair access, in the form of a ramp leading to our door. There is not an automatic door.

What kind of setup and art materials
do I need for online art therapy?

People who do video conferencing art therapy sessions require a tablet, phone or computer with a camera and speakers. We use a PIPEDA-compliant zoom app. They also need an internet connection with our suggested app, a private, quiet area with a workspace and their art supplies handy. We have an art supply kit available for purchase, click here. 

Art supplies should be pencils, pencil crayons, markers, acrylic or watercolour paints and brushes, air dry clay and or play dough, magazines, glue and scissors (for collage) and pastels. An art journal, 9 x 12 inches with thick paper is useful, however paper can be larger up to 22 x 28 inches.

Want more Information?

Follow the link on the right to message your inquiries.

Considering becoming an art therapy client?

If you are thinking about becoming a client of Art Therapy Guelph, reach out to book a free get acquainted chat today. During this time you can get a feel for what we do and see if it feels right to you. Call us at 519 830 7123 or message us.

*Please note this appointment type is for new clients only.