The Art Therapy Academy has different subdivisions
- Ther-a-Art counselling training through short modules to be registered in SA as counsellor or work as Therapeutic Art teachers
- Training in Art & Therapy with the aim to continue with studies in Expressive Art Therapy through an USA university
(Info on Art Therapy for individuals that hope to equip themselves in future as Art counsellors or in the related field of Art Therapy when it becomes available in SA)
Expressing feelings through creative activities such as painting, drawing and sculpture can create an image of people's emotions. Viewed as a cathartic and non-threatening way of venting repressed feelings, art therapy can help people gain confidence and bolster self-esteem. It is a particularly effective way of communicating for those with mental and emotional problems, or those with learning difficulties. Art therapy has been shown to be highly beneficial for people battling with eating disorders, addictions and stress. It has also been known to help those coming to terms with bereavement, and those suffering from Alzheimer's and other terminal illnesses. Many hospitals, prisons and institutions employ art therapists.
What it is:
Art therapy is based on the idea that the creative act can be healing. According to practitioners, called art counsellors or therapists, it helps people express hidden emotions; reduces stress, fear, and anxiety; and provides a sense of freedom. Many art therapists also believe the act of creation influences brain wave patterns and the chemicals released by the brain.
What does it involve?
People involved in art therapy are given the tools they need to produce paintings, drawings, sculptures, and many other types of artwork. Art therapists work with patients individually or in groups. The job of the art therapist is to help patients express themselves through their creations and to talk to patients about their emotions and concerns as they relate to their art. For example, an art therapist may encourage a person with cancer to create an image of themselves with cancer, and in this way express feelings about the disease that may be hard to talk about or may be unconscious.
Benefits of art therapy:
Art work may also be used as a diagnostic tool, particularly with children, who often have trouble talking about painful events or emotions. Art therapists say that often children can express difficult emotions or relay information about traumatic times in their lives more easily through drawings than through conventional therapy.
Art therapy is useful whether the issue is a relationship challenge due to communication breakdown, or the effects of surviving severe trauma. Symptoms of anxiety, depression, grief, illness, and behavioural problems can all be reduced through the creative process. Art therapy enhances any recovery program.
The free flowing expression derived from creating art opens the mind of youngsters and truly aids them in discovery and self awareness. Art expression is portrayed as its own language, speaking for itself when viewed bringing visual insight to behaviours and emotions. Children benefit greatly if they are experiencing developmental or communicational disorders such as autism, as well as grief, parental issues, anxiety, and even abuse.
Art therapy is very effective to tap into the unconscious and suppressed thought and feelings of a person.
Our training is for people interested in entry level training in Art counselling (Art & Therapy) to be registered as Art Counsellors or work as Therapeutic Art Teachers and work in different settings including at different organizations, working with individuals or groups as well as with groups of people that are less fortunate and can't afford counselling as well as with people from different Southern African countries.