WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
ART & CRAFT AND ART THERAPY?
There's a distinct difference between basic arts & crafts and art therapy.
The main goal of arts & crafts is usually to create a specific end product and the focus is generally on how the product looks - the outcome. People engaging in ‘arts & crafts’ activities may be learning or strengthening specific skills related to the art or craft and the facilitator may also provide advice. There is certainly a general therapeutic aspect (e.g. a sense of concentration, calm and relaxation) when doing art and crafts, as we absorb ourselves in activities like colouring, knitting, drawing, scrapbooking etc.
Art Therapy on the other hand, is the intentional use of art as a form of expression and communication to facilitate personal growth and psychological change. Art and creative processes are used as a form of therapy, within a therapeutic setting i.e. there is a client and a therapist.
In an art therapy session, the focus is not on the end product and how it looks and you are not being taught art skills. You are using art as a form of personal expression to find insight, meaning and to facilitate growth and change. There is no such thing as an ugly artwork in an art therapy session – stick figures and scribbles can be valuable symbolic expressions that can hold deep meaning for us on a personal level when explored within the context of our artwork. The emphasis of art therapy is on the process, not what the artwork looks like.
The role of the Art Therapist is to help you navigate your inner world and explore your artwork for personal meaning and insight - the therapist is your guide on a personal journey of self-discovery, healing and self-empowerment.
A trained Art Therapist has extensive knowledge about psychological theories, human development, clinical practice, counselling techniques, and the healing potential of art and specific art materials.
It’s important to ensure your Art Therapist is suitably trained and qualified so you can gain the most out of your session, safely.