What is Art Therapy?

In psychology, the use of artistic methods to treat psychological disorders and enhance mental health is known as art therapy.

The field of art therapy uses creative expression to foster healing and mental well-being. As an expressive medium, art can be used to help clients communicate, overcome stress, and explore different aspects of their own personalities. Often art is used to mindfully connect with the inner self or subconscious in a safe and supportive environment many aspects of health may be improved.

How It Works

An art therapist may use a variety of art methods including drawing, painting, sculpture, and collage with clients ranging from young children to the elderly. Clients who have experienced emotional trauma, physical violence, domestic abuse, anxiety, depression, and other psychological issues can benefit from expressing themselves creatively. Hospitals, private mental health offices, schools, and community organizations are all possible settings where art therapy services may be available.

You might also wonder how an art therapy session differs from the average art class. "In most art therapy sessions, the focus is on your inner experience—your feelings, perceptions, and imagination. While art therapy may involve learning skills or art techniques, the emphasis is generally first on developing and expressing images that come from inside the person, rather than those he or she sees in the outside world," explains Cathy Maldiochi in The Art Therapy Sourcebook. "And while some traditional art classes may ask you to paint or draw from your imagination, in art therapy, your inner world of images, feelings, thoughts, and ideas are always of primary importance to the experience."

What is the difference between art therapy and art as healing?

The act of creating art enhances self-esteem, gives a sense of control, and relieves stress and tension by taking the mind off of problems. Mostly importantly, it is an outlet for emotions.

Art healing is, in essence, self-help art therapy. Anyone can do art healing, and most people do art healing in their own homes, using whatever methods they prefer and creating any type of artwork. Unlike Art Therapy (in which a masters level professional is required), where the goal is to create art, and then analyze or talk about it with a therapist, art healing is a personal journey and needs no therapist and no analysis. In creating artwork, the healing process has already begun.

At Violet Hive we believe that everyone is an artist and all levels of experience are welcome.


Educational poster designed by www.joshkale.com to give an overview of the field of Art Therapy


Do you find yourself struggling with:

  • A lack of fulfillment and meaning in your daily life?

  • Unresolved feelings because they lead to a pattern of worrying or withdrawal?

  • Negative thought pattern involving limiting beliefs?

  • Using vices to cope? (alcohol, sex, food, drugs, or other behaviors)

  • A history of trauma, anxiety, impulsivity, or depression?

  • Trouble maintaining intimate relationships or expressing your needs

  • Perpetually stuck in a dissatisfying employment or experience?

Art Therapy can help you achieve:

•   Explore feelings and emotional conflicts
•   Gain self-awareness and increase self-esteem
•   Manage behavior and addictions
•   Develop social skills
•   Improve reality orientation
•   Increase self-esteem
•   Reduce anxiety


Follow Julian on Art Therapy and how it works, on Soul Pancake