The Art Therapy Project is a nonprofit mental health organization providing free group art therapy to adults and youth affected by trauma. Using the art-making process and with support from our art therapists, clients learn how to explore feelings, increase self-awareness and cope with life’s challenges.
Trauma can leave imprints that are often stored in the visual cortex of the brain, which can be directly accessed by art therapy.
According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy is “an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship. Art Therapy, facilitated by a professional art therapist, effectively supports personal and relational treatment goals as well as community concerns. Art Therapy is used to improve cognitive and sensory-motor functions, foster self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivate emotional resilience, promote insight, enhance social skills, reduce and resolve conflicts and distress, and advance societal and ecological change.”
Many people have a hard time understanding art therapy and how it works. If you do not have experience with art-making or being creative, it can be challenging to recognize the immediate benefits of art therapy. Here, art therapist Samantha Commarato MPS, ATR-BC, LCAT, ATCS, demonstrates a typical art therapy directive used with children and teens. See how using clay can relieve frustration and stress while also improving your mindset.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, The Art Therapy Project has offered our clients TeleArt Therapy sessions and currently runs 20 weekly groups. This shift has definitely changed the art therapy experience, however, our clients adjusted quickly and found it just as beneficial as before. We spoke to Staff Art Therapist, Joshua Brancheau ATR-BC, LCAT to hear how clients are coping and to gain a little more insight into this new virtual setting.
And for being a part of this journey…