I get a lot of hits to my blog from people searching on the topic of “a day in the life of an art therapist” and “what does an art therapist do?” I want to add to this conversation by telling you what I as an art therapist do NOT do.
I do NOT analyze your artwork seeking out clues to your psyche.
I do NOT interpret imagery in your artwork to fit my theory about you.
I do NOT tell you what kind of artwork to make, as though to prescribe a cure.
I do NOT diagnose you based only on your artwork.
I do NOT share your artwork with anyone except other providers at the site, as it is confidential healthcare information.
I do NOT reveal your name or other identifying information if you have given me explicit written permission to share your artwork.
Here are some things I DO:
Provide you with the materials, space, instruction and time to create the artwork you want to make.
Support you in exploring the imagery, themes and content of your work.
Give suggestions if you feel you are stuck in your artwork or want to explore something further.
Walk with you on your healing journey of the heart.
There are many misconceptions about what art therapists are and what they do. I won’t even go into the whole debate about “arts and healing” vs. “art therapy.” Art therapists are trained clinicians, yes clinicians, who have had years of schooling and internships to better assist our clients in exploring their challenges and struggles. Call it what you want, but I proudly call it Art Therapy.