art · art studio

Art Therapist Studio

This post was originally on my other blog- I wanted to move all art related posts to this site.

Being an Art Therapist is rewarding. Being a witness to clients who improve their mental wellness, is an incredible feeling. It is also a privileged to help those who are grieving from a loss, recovering from trauma and needing just some kind words of feedback to get back on their feet.

A typical day of an Art Therapist

I am in a private practice, therefore my schedule is flexible. Some day I will see up to 6 clients, others I might see 4 clients. Some clients prefer talk therapy only, therefore I do not offer art therapy to those clients. Others, especially children work well with art therapy.

My office/art therapy studio has a desk for clients to work on.

The art therapist supplies:

  • tempera paint
  • acrylic paint
  • soft pastels
  • oil pastels
  • markers-thin and thick tip
  • colored pencils
  • crayons-provide thick ones for younger children
  • colored pens
  • craft items
  • paper
  • construction paper
  • canvas boards
  • wooden sticks and shapes

The sessions are 1 hour. Each client is different some don’t like to use art as a processing technique for counseling. I definitely consider that and respect their decisions if they want to use it. In any case, when I am planning to use art therapy for the session, I will have them start an art task towards the beginning of the session. Usually the art task will take anywhere from 10-20 minutes.

Once the client is completed with the art task, then we will process it. If it is a drawing it will be hung on the wall. If it is wet then we will leave it on the desk.

Some of the questions to process is related to why the client is seeking therapy. The art task is designed to help the client to see anxiety, depression, coping techniques, anger, hope, fear, future goals etc. Not to mention how the client managed the supplies. Some do not like pastels, some prefer paint, and the behaviors of how they show their dislike for the supplies are also processed. It gives insight to how they manage stress or manage how they respond to situations that they are not in control of. It is up to the art therapist to point out the symbols and signs and help the client connect it to their life and identify ways of coping to help in their recovery.