Art Therapy…Tell Me More!

Art therapy is based on the intrinsic healing properties of the arts.

Hi, I’m Eva Miller and I’m excited to be part of the HER Health Collective.

I’ve been a registered art therapist for 20 years, and get a mixed response when meeting new folks and sharing what I do with them.

Some are really excited and are very familiar with the healing powers of art and creativity.

Others give a blank stare and are confused, art therapy?

Heart therapy?

What exactly is it?

What is Art Therapy?

Whether it be through listening to or making music to express your mood, creating something visually, getting creative in the kitchen, or enjoying photography, you have likely experienced the benefits and joy of creating.  

Art therapy is based on the intrinsic healing properties of the arts.   

Art therapists are masters-level clinicians trained in psychology,  human development, counseling theories, and the creative process. You can dive in and find more information at the American Art Therapy Association website. 

When working with an art therapist, you can rest assured that they have undergone extensive training, supervision, and adhere to a strict code of ethics.

Art therapy is different than an art class and is focused on the process of creating, with no “right” or “wrong” answers.  It is not based on “skill” but instead focuses on self-expression.

- Eva Miller

Common Questions About Art Therapy

Questions I often get asked about my work include, “Is an art therapist a real therapist?” and the answer is a resounding yes!   

I also get asked, “Do I have to be an artist to participate in art therapy?”   The answer is a big ole nope!   

Art therapy is different than an art class and is focused on the process of creating, with no “right” or “wrong” answers.  It is not based on “skill” but instead focuses on self-expression.    

Another question I often get asked is, “Isn’t art therapy just for kids?”   Again, the answer is absolutely not!    

Individuals of all ages can see great benefits from art therapy. 

At my practice, I specialize in working with teens and adults.   Other art therapists specialize in working with children, couples, families, and seniors.

What Does Working with an Art Therapist Look Like?

Art therapists work in a variety of settings here in North Carolina, including schools, clinics, mental health hospitals, treatment facilities, and in private practice.

 Some of the work is individual, and sometimes it is done in groups.

At my practice, I especially enjoy working with moms who use our time together to receive support related to identity, combatting depression and anxiety, and taking time to focus on their own mental health.  Together we use conversation and a variety of art materials (clay, drawing, sculpture, collage, paint…you name it!) as we move toward our predetermined goals.

Check out this fun list from Psychology Today of Ten Art Therapy Journaling Prompts and give one of them a try this week!

Curious about art therapists in your area? Take a look at this directory to learn more and let me know if you have any questions.

Also, I’d love to know… do you do any creating as part of your self-care?  If so, what’s your favorite creative outlet? 

Tell us in the comments!

Eva is a registered art therapist, as well as a licensed clinical mental health counselor in North Carolina. She has always believed in the healing power of the arts, and using art and creativity in her work with families experiencing loss solidified her desire to pursue art therapy. Eva has a successful therapy practice called Triangle Art Therapy.

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