ART THER­APY

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Body and Soul - - HEALTH -

If you strug­gle to ar­tic­u­late your feel­ings, try draw­ing them. Art ther­apy is about ex­press­ing emo­tion with­out words. In­stead you ex­plore your in­ner world through sculp­ture, paint­ing, draw­ing or col­lage.

You don’t have to be artis­tic to ben­e­fit. “With artists, the end prod­uct is im­por­tant, but with art ther­apy it’s the process that’s im­por­tant,” Dr Jo Kelly, pres­i­dent of the Aus­tralian and New Zealand Arts Ther­apy As­so­ci­a­tion, says.

The cre­ative process en­gages dif­fer­ent parts of the brain than those we use in talk­ing and cog­ni­tion, so it can bring a new per­spec­tive to your prob­lems.

In a ses­sion a client will work one-on-one with a ther­a­pist in an art stu­dio set­ting to cre­ate an art­work. To­wards the end of the ses­sion, rather than ‘in­ter­pret­ing’ the work, the ther­a­pist will in­vite the client to ex­plore what the im­age means to them.

It’s a holis­tic ther­apy that im­proves prob­lem-solv­ing and en­cour­ages self-re­flec­tion, Kelly says. “It also al­lows emo­tions like anger to be ex­pressed in dif­fer­ent ways. It’s a safe fo­rum to do that.”

About $100 for an hour-long ses­sion.

Visit an­zata.org for a list of Masters-level grad­u­ates from ap­proved cour­ses and uni­ver­si­ties.

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