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Frequently Asked Questions
About Art Therapy

Are you considering Art Therapy?  Below are some frequently asked questions to give you an idea of what to expect.  Still have questions after reading this FAQ?  Feel free to contact us here about any of our services, and we will be happy to chat.

How does Art Therapy differ from traditional Therapy/Counseling?

  • Art Therapy can help people in all the ways that traditional talk therapy can, but utilizes creative visual expression as the primary tool.  Words may not always be enough, and oral communication can be difficult.  Putting emotions, thoughts, and experiences into a piece of art makes them tangible, physical items that are separate from the client.  This separation aids in the processing of what is expressed.

What makes Art Therapy different from art classes?

  • Art Therapy puts emphasis on the process rather than the product.  The art created in sessions is less about the artistic outcome than it is how the client expresses themselves.  The client will learn proper use of materials and art techniques like in a class, but there is no "right" or "wrong" way to participate in Art Therapy. 

What kind of training does an Art Therapist have?

  • Art Therapists need a minimum of a Master's Degree in the field to practice.  All of our staff at Art People are Board Certified, Registered Art Therapists.  This means that they have completed post-graduate direct client contact hours with supervision, and passed the Board exam.  In Connecticut, Art Therapists can also acquire their LPC and CLAT licenses. Meet our staff and see individual credentials here.

Isn't Art Therapy only for children?

  • Not al all!  At Art People, we offer a wide variety of Art Therapy services for both children and adults.

Who can benefit from Art Therapy?

  • The large answer is, well, everybody!  Art Therapy can be beneficial for all diagnoses and populations that traditional talk Therapy is used with. 

Do I need any training or experience in art to participate?

  • No previous art experience or knowledge is necessary to participate in Art Therapy.  The Art Therapist will assist the client with learning any new techniques.

What kind of art supplies will I use?

  • We use many traditional art media at Art People, such as pencil, collage, watercolor, marker, paint, clay, etc., but we also introduce "out of the box" art supplies often.  Even experienced artists may learn new techniques in the process.

Will the Art Therapist interpret my artwork?

  • Art Therapist are trained to look at artwork curiously and ask questions that allow the artist to personally reflect.  The artist's own exploration and "interpretation" is much more important than any arbitrary meaning that the Art Therapist could assign to the work.

Do I get to keep my artwork?

  • The art made in Art Therapy sessions belongs to the client, and they get to choose what to do with it.  If the artist would like to keep it at Art People, we will make sure it is safe and secure.  Unclaimed art is stored safely in accordance to the American Art Therapy Association Code of Ethics.

Will anybody else see my artwork?

  • None of the artwork is shared outside of the session without the written consent of the client or guardian.  The only time something created or discussed in a session would be shared without consent is if the client or another person is in danger.  This policy is reviewed in more detail before starting Art Therapy in our client contract.

As a parent/guardian, how does confidentiality work?

  • This is a complex question that is often discussed in the mental health world.  As a guardian, you have the legal right to know what happens in Art Therapy sessions.  That being said, for Art Therapy to be effective, a person must be able to disclose information without fear of judgment.  Confidentiality makes clients feel safe and helps build stronger a therapeutic relationship.  Generally, the Art Therapist will have an open discussion with the client about what will be shared with the parent/guardian before communicating that information.

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