What is Art Therapy?
Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy which offers an opportunity to use a variety of art materials within a safe, containable and non-judgmental environment with the support of a qualified art psychotherapist to make sense of what is happening in your life.
The overall aim of art therapy is to effect change and growth on a personal level through the use of art materials and the relationship between you and the therapist. Art therapy is not dependent on spoken language and can therefore be helpful to anyone who finds it difficult to express their thoughts and feelings verbally.
The art therapist can help you find your own way of using the art materials, so you don’t need to have previous experience or skill in art. The images you produce are only be used to help you and the therapist reflect on thoughts and feelings. The process can help access emotions and conflicts which may be suppressed.
Art psychotherapy is similar with talking therapy which is highly confidential. The artwork made in therapy is stored safely and is not shown to anyone else without your consent. Unless the therapist has serious concerns about risk to yourself or someone else. When informatoin is shared with other members of the team/family the therapist will always try to get your consent first.
You Don't Need To Be Good At Art!
Why art therapy?
The playful atmosphere in art therapy can help you to feel more comfortable about who you are, and it can be a place where you can think about making changes in your life. Art therapy explores and acknowledges suppressed feelings which will reduce anxiety of not-knowing, and ultimately to achieve quality of life.
Art therapy as a form of intervention can assist with an individual’s psychological, emotional, education, social and physical development.
Art Therapists work with a variety of clientele and working sites such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, medical centers, prisons, support centers and private practice. Clients include families, adults and/or children of both general and special needs populations. Art Therapy is also used with people with chronic illness and those in need of palliative care. It is also useful for those interested in personal growth and professional enhancement.
Who are art therapists?
Art therapists have a post-graduate qualification in art therapy and their professional body is the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT). Art therapy is a state registered profession and it is a legal requirement to be registered with the Health and Care Professional Council (HCPC) in order to practice anywhere in the UK as an art therapist or art psychotherapist.
Moreover, art psychotherapists have to attend regular clinical supervision sessions with their supervisors (has to be an experienced and registered Art therapists/Psychotherapist, or mental health professionals with art therapy experience). The supervisor will ensure the on-going art therapy/psychotherapy sessions are processed in a safe and supervised environment. *The supervision sessions are confidential.
Nga Chee, Chan (Tristan)
Chan qualified and registered as an UK art psychotherapist in 2009 with a focus on children with mental health issues and special education needs. She is a recognised supervisor and a full member of BAAT, and the former vice president and a current professional member of HKAAT.
She began to offer support to cancer patients and their families in 2012 with a focus on facing death and bereavement issue. She has achieved the title 'Certified In Thanatology' from the Association for Death Education and Counselling (USA). Chan presented her evidence-based practice projects in local and international conferences to promote art therapy. She has published a book in Chinese titled: 'Embracing Imperfection: Wild Art Therapist'.
She engaged in sculpture art in recent years and graduated from the sculpture specialist programme at Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre. Chan attempts to transform art therapy concepts into her exploration of wood, marble, and metal work.
Registration Number : AS 13677
Art Therapy and Children
Disruptive or challenging behaviour, or becoming withdrawn and isolated can all be signs that a child is feeling unhappy, angry or worried.
Art therapy can help children discover better ways to express their feelings. Drawing, painting and making things in art therapy can be a safe way for children to begin to show how they feel. The art therapy room has many different art materials which children can use to explore ideas and feelings that are not easily put into words. Art therapist can help children to understand their artwork. By working together with the child and therapist can make sense of what they have made.
How does it work?
Art therapist work with children individually, with siblings and families and with groups of children who may be experiencing similar difficulties. To begin with your child will be offered a short number of sessions, usually between 4 and 6, as a period of assessment. This allows time for the therapist to find out whether art therapy is going to be helpful for the child.
If all parties agree to have more sessions the art therapist will arrange to meet with parents or carer at regular intervals to review the child’s progress.