Art Therapy

- Art Therapy -

Art Therapy is a form of psychotherapy and is about communicating visually - for when words are not enough. Art Therapy helps enrich self discovery and find deeper meaning. We use a huge variety of art making materials to colour, shape, pattern and texture what you need to say about your state of being. It is liberating, healing and can never be done the wrong way, because it is an expression of you and your inner world.

My training is in Sensorimotor Art Therapy. This term means working with visual and sensory art tools in a therapeutic way, to initiate a process of self-awareness, transformation and healing. It is a trauma-informed psychotherapy whereby the body is the primary instrument followed to direct the process. The breath, heart rate, sensations and urges felt within the body, are guides towards well being and restoring wholeness.  

Art therapy is not so much about understanding and interpreting pictures as it is about the process of creating them. Healing happens through the act of symbolic expression.
— Elbrecht, Cornelia 2006

Visual expression has been used across many different cultures for healing throughout history.

With over 60 years of research and development, Art Therapy can now be found within a number of different practice settings such as hospitals, health clinics, public and community agencies, wellness centers, educational institutions, businesses, and psychotherapy private practices. It is also utilised as a form of professional development, team building and self-care in business environments.

Art Therapy can assist with: stress, anxiety, trauma, depression; identity, lifestyle or body issues, anger, classroom management, career decisions, family of origin issues, increasing sense of self, increasing self awareness and expression of feelings.

A number of different modalities fall under the banner of Art Therapy. Some of my specialties and expertise lay within Guided Drawing (a sensorimotor process), Clay Field® Therapy, collage and mandala creation, just to name a few. 

Guided Drawing
Simply described, this involves representing on large sheets of paper your inner impulses using crayons, pastels or finger paint. Movements are often repeated to gain awareness of their associated sensation in the body. It is generally done with your eyes closed and drawing with both hands simultaneously. This process relies on body perception, and a sequence of drawings is created within each session which is then talked about for integration.

Clay Field®
Work at the Clay Field®.  This therapy is a particularly effective method for trauma affected people to reconnect, reorganise and reintegrate their nervous system after the rupture caused by trauma. The Clay Field® is a flat wooden box filled with smooth clay. A bowl of warm water sits beside it and the therapist accompanies the client to make contact with the material in front of them. Trust and reliability is built by the person following their body's motor impulses and senses. The hands guide the way finding safety through movement and touch. Movements such as yielding, pushing, reaching, grasping, pulling and releasing may be experienced in relation to the materials provided. Scenes become created, destroyed and recreated to tell one’s story. There is no finished product to take home but the adventure of an enlightening inner journey. this delicate work requires the therapist to be present in person as your guide. Please contact our service for more information. 

I deeply and respectfully acknowledge my teacher and mentor in Clay Field® Therapy here in Australia, Cornelia Elbrecht, as she continues to guide and teach me in this healing practice.