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Art Therapy Myths

Today I am going to tell you about some common myths about art therapy. I will also tell you the facts. If you don't know me, Hello! I'm Rachel. I am a board-certified art therapist and licensed professional counselor. I use art therapy on a daily basis to help my clients deal with a variety of life events. Let's get started!!

Myth: I need to be an artist or have art skills to do art therapy.

Fact: You don’t have to be an artist or even “artsy” to make art. Everyone is creative! In art therapy sessions, your art therapist may encourage you to try different art media such as colored pencils, paints, clay, and collage. Sometimes non-traditional art materials (e.g. tree branches and leaves) are intentionally introduced to you in order to expand your creative expression. You may also explore different styles of expression, using doodling, abstract designs, and contour drawing. Art therapists are trained to facilitate a type of art-making for your specific needs. However, to experience the process of art therapy, it’s important to work with a trained and credentialed art therapist.

Myth: Art Therapy is the same thing as an art class.

Fact: Art therapists are trained mental health professionals. Although you may learn some techniques while doing art therapy, that is not the focus. Art therapy is for healing mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual pains. Thus, you will not be focused on creating “beautiful” works of art. You will be more focused on using the creative process for the exploration and processing of difficult life events and self-expression.

Myth: Art Therapy can only be done in person.

Fact: Many art therapists provide art therapy services online, including me! How? There are many different ways. Some therapists use digital tools with their clients during sessions. Some of us have the client do the creative work between sessions and we process it during the session. Sometimes we might even do creative activities while we are having our telehealth session.

Myth: Art Therapy is only for kids.

Fact: Art therapists work in a variety of settings with people of all different ages, from infants to end of life. Art gives people a different way of expressing themselves. , so art therapy can be especially beneficial to those who have experienced things that are difficult to put into words.

Do you have any questions about art therapy or what an art therapy session would look like? Feel free to email questions to

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