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What is Art Therapy? Art therapy is hard to pin down, as the use of art therapy crosses many lines of use.
It is used on people of all ages, people with disorders and addictions, and those facing chronic, terminal, or
serious illnesses. It is also used on persons who have had traumatic life experiences, and those with
Art therapy is in simple terms, art and psychology. It brings together aspects of art, behavior, personality
and mental health. To “Draw from Within” in a popular catch phrase among art therapists, which helps
define art therapy from regular art. The focus of art therapy is the person’s inner experience and feelings.
The artist must reach inside to express images, instead of seeking outside stimulus.
There are also different ways of viewing art therapy. Thefirst is seeing art therapy as a process, which in
itself is healing. The second is the product, or interpretation of the art. Creative process is said to be
therapeutic in and of itself, as it is an opportunity to express onself authentically and spontaneously. The
product of the process is based on the meaning of the art, and what it says about the individual. This
approach is known as psychotherapy, as it communicates issues and emotions. Most art therapists use
both process and product in their work, being that the process is healing, and the products communicate
Interpretations of art in therapy is an interesting field. Therapists study images to determine if there are
recurring symbols or colors which may be connected to certain disorders or illnesses. Although there are at
times interpretations, the art therapist may want the artist himself to interpret his own work. Asking people
to interpret their own work is important because how you choose to express yourself is very personal,
changing from person to person due to life experiences and cultural differences. The responses an art
therapist receives says as m…

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