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Arts Therapy Print this page

Arts Therapy

What is arts therapy?

Arts therapists use creative processes, including art-making, drama and movement to improve and enhance physical, mental and emotional well-being.

It differs from traditional art-making or performance in that the emphasis is on the process of creating and meaning-making, rather than on the end product. The therapist and client develop a dynamic interpersonal relationship, with clear boundaries and goals.

Who do arts therapists and arts psychotherapists work with?

Clients come from all ages and many life situations.  Arts therapy can be done with individuals or groups.

Why do we need arts therapy and arts psychotherapy?

Arts therapy can help you to develop a more integrated sense of self, with increased self awareness and acceptance.  It can assist with improving your personal growth and insight, processing of traumatic experiences and resolving of inner conflicts.

By accessing imagination, creativity and non-verbal communication, arts therapy provides a unique opportunity for you to express feelings safely so that you can cope better with stress, improve your judgment and have healthy relationships. 

Source The Australian New Zealand Arts Therapy Association  (ANZATA)

How do arts therapists work?

Arts therapists work with their clients using a wide array of materials to:

  • express emotions such as fury, fear, sorrow and anger
  • develop interpersonal skills
  • activate the creative side of the brain
  • help you solve problems
  • manage behaviour
  • reduce stress
  • express feelings that may be difficult to verbalise
  • explore your imagination and creativity
  • develop healthy coping skills and focus
  • improve self-esteem and confidence
  • identify and clarify issues and concerns
  • increase communication skills
  • improve motor skills and physical coordination
  • resolve conflicts


Finding an arts therapist or arts psychotherapist

If you would like to locate registered arts therapists in your region for yourself or for someone else, you will find an arts therapist directory listing therapists by region, state and country on the ANZATA website.