“To some, traditional individual therapy can feel like a cross-examination. I often utilize art therapy as part of building a safe, trusting, non-judgmental therapeutic alliance with clients. Throughout treatment I often utilize are therapy, in conjunction with clinical techniques, to help clients develop healthy coping skills, lower stress and anxiety, improve social skills, develop self-awareness, explore emotions, address unresolved emotional conflicts, and raise self esteem.

I have found art therapy useful in helping the client externalize their struggle. Often it is challenging to find the right words to express our thoughts, feelings or emotions. With her struggle on the outside, clients can create and visualize metaphors within their own life, then process and identify solutions. Having images instead of words can help her explore these emotions in a new way. 

The goal of treatment is to express one’s thoughts and emotions, not produce artistic masterpieces. Neither natural artistic ability nor previous artistic experience is necessary for successful treatment. Clients may also be asked to participate in group art therapy sessions.”

– Ethan Colburn, CMHC