What is art therapy?


Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary mode of communication. It is practiced by qualified, registered Art Therapists who work with children, young people, adults and the elderly. As a profession, Art Therapy is statutorily regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).


Clients who use art therapy may have a wide range of difficulties, disabilities or diagnoses. These include, for example emotional, behavioural or mental health problems, learning or physical difficulties, life limiting conditions, brain injury or neurological conditions and physical illness.


Art Therapy is not dependent on spoken language and can therefore be helpful to anyone who finds it difficult to express their thoughts and feelings verbally. It is therefore suitable for very young children, people with communication problems, those who express themselves in unhelpful ways, and for those who have English as a second language.


Art Therapy may be provided for groups, or for individuals depending upon a client's needs. It is not a recreational activity or an art lesson, although the sessions can be enjoyable. Clients do not need to have any previous experience or expertise in art.

Information from British Association of Art Therapists leaflet: What is Art Therapy?