What happens in an art therapy session?
Its really hard to just jot down what actually happens in art therapy, as each individual session is personally tailored according to what you want to get out of the session.
The first thing is to establish what you want to focus on for the session. We chat for a while with you and decide what you are hoping to get from our time together. Maybe you are stuck with something. overwhelmed with everything going on, have no time for you, there has been a big life event, you might be needing to make a decision, transitioning to something new, want to dream about life being different or plan for the future.
Your intention for the session determines what medium is used and how the session is navigated from there.
The mediums that are used can be anywhere from using oil pastels, drawing, painting, movement, soft pastels, construction, clay, plasticine, sandplay, watercolours, collage, marbelling, markers, pencils, kinetic sand, charcoal, pictures, natural stuff… the list goes on.
Once the art is created we can have a look at what is happening you in the ‘image’ and look at some of the things that you see and how that relates to what you want out of the session. You also don’t have to be too concerned about being an artist – its the doing and expressing while you are creating that’s important not what it looks like.
Its important to note that the therapist doesn’t know what your work means for you, our job is to help you to unpack the meaning it has for you and what you want to do from there.
The next stage can go in lots of different directions, its all depends upon what you want to do with the art and what will help you with whats going on. It can be looking at your art from different angles, smudging, burning, rubbing, cutting, pulping, ripping, adding, taking away, transforming, gluing, connecting, weaving, manipulating, unravelling, moving, securing, moulding, rinsing, or doing anything else to the art before coming to some sort of conclusion for the session.
Individual sessions run for approximately 60-90minutes and the same theme can be worked on for numerous sessions or the goal can change each time.