Art therapy uses the creative process of art making to improve a person’s well-being. Clients participate in art activities such as painting, drawing, sculpture or collage-making, to express their feelings and explore their problems in a safe and non-judgmental environment provided by the art therapist.
You do not need to be an artist, or possess any artistic skills to benefit from art therapy. People often erroneously assume that one must be "artistic" or "creative" to engage in art therapy. All that is required is an open mind to try something new. Art is an incredibly powerful medium for expression and our creative instincts are inside, even if negative experiences from growing up may have stifled their expression.
Art therapy emerged as a distinct profession in the 1940s. Art therapists are master-level clinicians who work with people of all ages in a wide variety of settings. Art therapy engages the mind, body, and spirit in ways that are distinct from verbal articulation alone and is used to improve cognitive and sensory-motor functions, foster self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivate emotional resilience, promote insight, enhance social skills, reduce and resolve conflicts and distress, and advance societal change.
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is one of the most successful forms of psychotherapy designed to help people heal from past traumatic or upsetting experiences. Through the use of alternating eye movements, taps or sounds, EMDR therapy activates the brain's natural healing process to decrease or eliminate emotional distress associated with all different kinds of traumatic experiences.
Studies show that EMDR therapy can be completed in fewer sessions compared to other psychotherapies, which often take years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes.
EMDR therapy is an accepted treatment for PTSD by the American Psychological Association (APA), Veterans Administration (VA), Department of Defense (DOD) and The International Society for Traumatic Stress (ISTSS).
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is an evidenced-based psychotherapy that is rooted in the cognitive model: the way that people view a situation is more closely connected to their reaction than the situation itself. CBT helps clients to become more aware of their inaccurate thinking so they can view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them in a healthier, more constructive way. This may involved recognizing instances when they are jumping to conclusions without any evidence supporting their beliefs, or identifying automatic thoughts that are exaggerated or distorted. The therapist then guides their clients through challenging these beliefs and thoughts, and adjusting their perspectives accordingly that more closely reflect reality. When clients modify their dysfunctional thinking and behaviors, their mood and functioning also improve as a result.
Compared to other forms of psychotherapy, CBT is more structured, present-oriented and tends to focus more on problem-solving.
Internal Family Systems (IFS)
IFS is an integrative approach to psychotherapy which combines systems theory and the concept of the multiplicity of the mind. Developed by Richard Schwartz, the IFS model conceptualizes the mind as being subdivided into a number of ‘subpersonalities’ or ‘parts.’ An example would be how someone might think to themselves, “a part of me wants to attend this event tonight, but another part of me just wants to stay home!” Within the internal family system, each part has a valuable role to play, but negative life experiences can reorganize the parts in unhealthy ways which leads to destructive behaviors and suffering.
IFS helps clients to identify their parts, recognize their various roles and works towards developing a healthy “self” which can and should lead the system. With strong Self leadership, the parts cooperate & work together in balance and harmony, resulting in a more integrated sense of self. The qualities of self-leadership can be summarized by the 8 Cs: Calmness, Curiosity, Clarity, Compassion, Confidence, Creativity, Courage, Connectedness.