What is Art Therapy?

Express emotions, enhance confidence & explore possibilities 

In-Person in Gibbsboro, NJ
Virtual in New Jersey, Connecticut & Pennsylvania

Take time to reflect on what was

and imagine what can be,
so you can create the life you want.
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Art therapy can help you heal & thrive

What if you were able to…

  • Become a more active participant in therapy
  • Consider new solutions to old problems
  • Boost confidence
  • Have a-ha! moments about what hasn’t been working for you
  • Feel empowered to make changes
  • Gain clarity about goals and aspirations
  • Appropriately and effectively express  emotions
  • Develop skills to manage challenges in the future
  • Better regulate emotions
  • See an artistic record of your growth

Who can benefit from art therapy?

Art therapy can benefit people with a variety of therapy needs, and you do not have to be an artist to benefit. A starting point for deciding on treatment approach is age. Whether therapy is for you or your child, I’ll consider developmental needs based on age, in addition to your personal experience with art making and specific reasons for seeking therapy.

School-Age Children

  • Improve planning, attention and task completion skills
  • Build confidence and self-respect
  • Process emotions through metaphors using art and storytelling
  • Increase recognition of multiple perspectives and empathy
  • Address emotional regulation through art making (such as managing responses to disappointment or frustration)
  • Promote appropriate and effective communication skills

Teens

  • Attention on the art eases self-consciousness
  • Emphasis on visual communication eases pressure to discuss sensitive topics before they’re ready, especially important because teens value privacy
  • Opportunities to make choices related to the art making process increase sense of autonomy and agency
  • Learning or practicing skills promotes confidence and sense of mastery
  • Working with “mistakes” or finished art that doesn’t meet expectations improves flexibility and reactivity

Young Adults

  • Reconsider past events in a new light to develop more nuanced and mature understanding
  • Consider options for current challenges from different perspectives
  • Reflect on goals and concerns about the future
  • Address tendencies toward perfectionism and either/or thinking
  • Enhance creative problem solving and flexible thinking
  • Process deeper level emotions that can be difficult to access as adults
  • Explore identity as an emerging adult
What is Art Therapy?

(technically speaking…)

  • Guided visual expression is combined with psychotherapy to help people explore thoughts, feelings & experiences
  • No artistic training or talent is required and it’s used with people of all ages
  • Benefits include enhanced emotional release, problem-solving, insight, confidence, feeling energized & activated & stress reduction
  • Art therapists’ education includes human development, counseling theories, psychopathology, ethics, and skills and theories specific to art therapy
  • Licensing varies by state, but in NJ (LPAT) and CT (CLAT), only licensed art therapists can call themselves “art therapist” and describe the service they offer as “art therapy,” whereas in PA, art therapists are licensed as licensed professional counselors (LPC)
  • Nationally, art therapists are credentialed by the Art Therapy Credentials Board
closeup of woman's hands dipping brush in watercolors

How does art therapy work?

girls sitting on the floor drawing

Your Brain on Art Therapy

Art therapy relies on engaging more parts of your brain to enrich your therapy experience so you can achieve your goals for therapy. And best of all, you don’t need any talent, only your brain and willingness to try.

Neuroscientists are finding evidence that support the use of art in therapy. As a client in art therapy, you’re using more parts of your brain, thus engaging cognitive, emotional, sensorimotor and exectutive functions.

Activating more parts of the brain builds connections, known as neural pathways, which are functional and structural changes in your brain. Your brain’s ability to make these changes is called neuroplasticity, which can translate to positive changes in learning, memory, cognitive function and emotional regulation.

Creativity is Key

Creativity is associated with cognitive, emotional and exectutive functions, and in the case of art making, sensorimotor function is needed to translate ideas and emotions into visual expression.

As a client, you or your child will be guided to use creativity to make art, activating different parts of the brain. You’ll also discuss your art and the art making process, which adds another dimension to how the brain is engaged.

All of this adds up to a boost in neuroplasticity, setting you on a path to the changes you hope to accomplish in therapy.

woman working on canvas

Working with an Art Therapist

During the first session, we will discuss your issues of concern, and how my approach could meet your needs. Initially, we want to build rapport, as well as give you an opportunity to consider if I’ll be a good fit. Furthermore, you can communicate your questions and concerns to help us establish a productive relationship.

A session typically has three parts. First, we discuss whatever is on your mind so I can determine how we’ll proceed. Then I offer an art-making prompt, which is tailored to spark a conversation in the latter part of the session about how the art relates to your therapy issues. As you become familiar with the therapy process, we can take a collaborative approach to choices about art materials and processes.

Oftentimes, you’ll make art that can be completed in a single session, however, there is also opportunity to work on longer term art tasks that can take multiple sessions to complete. Above all, you’ll create art designed to address your unique needs.

Discover creative growth & new perspectives with Prism Art Therapy

Art therapy helps school-age children, teens & young adults helps address mental health concerns and promotes emotional and functional growth by combining creative expression with talk-based therapy. As a client, you can gain the insights and skills you need to overcome current challenges, build on your strengths, and be the most authentic version of you.

Schedule your free 15-minute phone consultation to discuss how my approach might be the right fit for you, or get started by booking your first session.

smiling Asian teen with glasses