„An additional, third, dimension is added to the client-therapist relationship: the artistic medium“
Art therapy is an imaginative process based on psychodynamic principles. Inner processes are expressed through visual arts, which help in creating images and allow for the formation of new pathways of expression. The methods used are applied in a goal oriented manner resulting in more direct access to own inner potential and resources. In times of crisis many individuals experience difficulties in articulating the state of their inner world or are simply unable to express their situation through words. Art therapy can help these clients to recover their “voices” and overcome this “speechlessness” as well as any other potential inhibitions. Speech is substituted by the use of hands and brushes, and by playful and sensuous immersion into the shaping of expression through color and materials. The outcome is not defined by the quality or professional appearance of the completed work. Rather, the projected images are expression of inner and outer structures; the visualization allows for an integration of both. Discussions about the images intend to draw connections between the symbolism of the images and current life themes of the artist. This approach enables the client to identify and practice the application of new strategies in order to approach situations of conflict, crisis, and other problems more effectively.
Possible applications of Art Therapy:
- Individual therapy, Relationship therapy, Group therapy
- Resource orientation: a strengthening of self confidence through the discovery of inner strength and vitality
- A broadening of communication through non verbal expression
- Visual projections and direct expression of dreams, fantasies, and experiences
- Utilization in the clinical, educational, and social setting. Art therapy has gained significance especially in psychiatric, psychosomatic, and psychosocial practice.
Art Therapy methods:
Art therapy offers a wide range of options for visual expression through materials such as oil paint, pastel crayons, gouache, acrylic and pigmented paint; further options are plasticizing with clay, sculpting, collages, role play, biographic and image based constellation, fairy tale and imaginary techniques, music therapy and creative writing.
Director of Art Therapy: Magª. Ramona Ritter-Weilguni