The Art of Wellness: Art Therapy at Yellow Door

Over the course of history, art has been used to express the broad spectrum of human emotions. In some cases, these artworks express particular negative experiences, traumas, or mental health problems. Art is a symbolic language that can help us work through traumatic experiences and emotional suffering that may be otherwise difficult to find the words to describe. At Yellow Door, we have a number of Art Therapists within our team who work within our Children and Young People’s Service who work creatively with clients to help them explore memories, thoughts or feelings that can often be difficult to express.

What is Art Therapy?

Art Therapy is a form of psychotherapy using art as a binding mechanism. This type of therapy offers clients a secure and friendly space to work through difficulties they may be experiencing with a range of different art materials, techniques and activities. Art materials are readily available for use to begin working through any issues. In Art Therapy the process of creating an image can help us to make discoveries and communicate our feelings so we can understand them better. This is a three way process between the client, the artwork and the therapist, which can be seen as a triangle.

Who is art therapy for?

Art therapy is widely used with people of all ages, and is used to work through a variety of difficulties. At Yellow Door, our art therapists work with children and young people who have experienced sexual or domestic abuse, many of whom have been affected by trauma throughout their lives and may now be experiencing mental health difficulties.

How does Art Therapy help?

Memories are stored in the non-verbal right side of the brain. Accessing emotion through visual imagery enables a re-connection of the right brain where creativity is located. Conversation regarding artwork stimulates the left side of the brain where logic and objectivity are stored. Linking both sides of the brain enables a connection of cognitive and emotional processing.

How can it help me?

Art therapy is a useful technique for a wide range of people. It is particularly useful for those who may struggle with more traditional talking therapies. Creativity helps being the process of change and healing through self-expression, reflection and perspective. The act of making art engages the nonverbal part of our brain, promoting inner strength and increasing coping skills.

Do I have to be good at art?

Rather than being about creating ‘good’ art, the artwork created during art therapy is all part of the therapeutic process rather than being judged or graded as if in an educational setting. It is a process of creative exploration of our inner selves.

What happens to the artwork I make?

At Yellow Door, the artwork made within a session stays in the room with the therapist. A photo will be taken and stored with your written files. We make sure that confidentiality is maintained for the artwork created in sessions just the same as any written notes.

How can I make a referral?

Referrals can be made for any child or young person who has experienced sexual or domestic abuse and is living within our geographical remit. You can make a referral for Art Therapy by referring a child or young person to our young people’s counselling service here at Yellow Door. Please mention at referral that the child / young person would like to see an Art Therapist. Yellow Door’s therapeutic service for under 11’s is solely Art Therapy. Contact us today.

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