Creative Wellbeing Workshops presenters are Board Certified and Registered Art Therapists practicing in the field for 20 years each.
Art Therapy utilizes the art making process to enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages and abilities. Art therapy facilitates growth through activating the creative process and utilizing the art product for self-reflection, expression, and exploration. No background, skill, or talent in art is needed for clients to benefit from art therapy.
Art Therapy involves two dynamic components, both of which can be useful in promoting happiness and wellbeing.
Art as Therapy
The first component derives from the practice often called “Art as Therapy” which shows that the creative process of art making is inherently healing. It improves mood and activates parts of the brain that are not responsive to traditional verbal therapeutic interventions and which promote problem-solving. Art making can also induces a state of flow–a sense of being absorbed, focused and fully engaged. Finally, because art making is grounded in affective-sensory experiences, it facilitates mind-body connectivity and sympathetic-parasympathetic balance.
The second component, coined “Art Psychotherapy,” proposes that art serves as means of communicating, as a visual language. The art work and the art process provide access to information that might not be available through traditional verbalization. Addressing a question by visualizing its resolution through artistic means allows that concern to be observed and experienced differently. The art work itself becomes a visual representation of the artist’s experience– even the simplest drawings reflect the artist’s personality and speak to his/her unique interests, concerns, and strengths. As a tangible visual reminder, the art work becomes reference for future reflection and a springboard for further exploration.
Combining the Two
Art therapists are trained to master these variables—they have in-depth knowledge of the art process and of the potential for different artistic media to evoke particular responses and they help clients use the art they’ve made as a tool for insight and exploration. They receive in-depth training in psychotherapy, assessment, and diagnosis, and blend this foundation with their expertise in the creative process.
Art Therapy in Groups
Art therapy helps warm group members up to each other, builds group cohesion and helps identifies common interests and concerns. In working groups, art therapy can be particularly useful for team building. Art experientials can be used for ice-breakers and for propelling focused work, innovation and creative thinking. When looking at the artwork collectively, common visual themes and symbols emerge. That visual language encourages dialogue and collaboration. The artwork can also serve as a record of group process for visual reference. It is ideal for visioning work, in which hopes, aspirations, and goals of the group can literally be visualized and then serve as a visual record of those intentions and a source of ongoing inspiration.
Positive Art Therapy
“Positive Art Therapy,” a term suggested by the founders of Creative Wellbeing Workshops, combines the healing potential of art therapy with the empowering focus of the positive psychology movement. Positive art therapy utilizes the creative process to enhance positive emotions, identify and develop positive character and strengths, and participate in and foster positive communities.
Creative Wellbeing Workshops is not the first to identify the power of the art process and of creativity in promoting happiness and joins this community of innovators through the practice of “Positive Art Therapy.” We partner with other art therapists, artists, mental health practitioners, positive psychologists, community organizations, educational and governmental institutions, whose interests ally or converge with creativity and wellbeing.
Art Therapy Training
Art therapists are professionals trained in both art and therapy. They have in-depth knowledge of the art process and the potential for art work to serve as a tool for reflection and communication. They receive in-depth training in psychotherapy, assessment, and diagnosis, and blend this foundation with their expertise in the creative process. A master’s degree is required for entry level practice in art therapy. Minimum educational and professional standards for the profession are established by the American Art Therapy Association, Inc. (AATA) a membership and advocacy organization.
Art Therapists are knowledgeable about human development, psychological theories, clinical practice, spirituality, multicultural and artistic traditions, diversity, and the healing potential of art. They use art in treatment, assessment and research, and provide consultations to allied professionals. Art therapists work with people of all ages: individuals, couples, families, groups and communities. They provide services, individually and as part of clinical teams, in settings that include mental health, rehabilitation, medical and forensic institutions; community outreach programs; wellness centers; schools; nursing homes; corporate structures; employee assistance programs, open art studios and independent practices.
Art Therapy Certification
The Art Therapy Credentials Board, Inc. (ATCB) grants art therapy credentials based upon the following:
- Registration (ATR) is granted upon completion of graduate education and post-graduate clinically supervised experience.
- Board Certification (ATR-BC) is granted to Registered Art Therapists who successfully complete the national examination demonstrating comprehensive knowledge of the theories and clinical skills used in art therapy.
The ATCB requires all credential holders to adhere to the ethical standards of the ATCB Code of Professional conduct, and to participate in continuing education and professional development.
Art Therapy Resources
- American Art Therapy Association www.arttherapy.org
- International Art Therapy Organization www.internationalarttherapy.org
- Art Therapy Without Borders www.atwb.org
- Art Therapy Credentials Board www.atcb.org
- The George Washington University Graduate Art Therapy Program www.gwu.edu/~artx/
- Potomac Art Therapy Association www.potomacarttherapy.org
- British Association of Art Therapists www.baat.org
- International Expressive Arts Therapy Association www.ieata.org