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What is Art Therapy: Welcome

Clinical information

Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary mode of expression & communication. Art therapists work with children, young people, adults & the elderly. Clients may have a wide range of challenges, disabilities or diagnoses. These include emotional, behavioural or mental health conditions, disabilities, life-limiting conditions, neurological conditions & physical illnesses.

Art Therapy is a creative process where art-making & psychotherapy combine to promote transformational change for an individual. Examples of transformational change include, dramatically improved; Mood, Mental health, Self esteem, Self awareness, Confidence, Beliefs/Attitudes & Healthy Happy Relationships.

Art Therapy provides the client immediate & direct access to their unconscious; in a client-led exploratory & joyful manner. The unconscious is where; beliefs, attitudes, memories, worries, fears, trauma & complex emotions are kept. It is very difficult to access the unconscious through talking therapy alone. 

Art Therapy is joyful, creative & playful. Art therapy empowers persons to both communicate & & process their experiences by telling their story through the language of art. 

Understanding that not all persons can verbalise & process their experiences due to age, developmental maturity, self-confidence, disability or trauma, art therapy provides a model which is creative, playful & inclusive for all.

Art Therapy focuses on the process of creating art & the unique meaning of the picture for the client. In an Art Therapy session, the client will create artwork & develop their unique visual language using various mediums such as drawing, painting, sculpting, or mixed media. 

The process of art-making offers the opportunity for persons to creatively enjoy the sensory nature of art making, release anxiety, increase self-awareness, improve self esteem, transform limiting beliefs & attitudes, improve relationships & heal trauma.

The artwork acts as a magical container, holding initially difficult feelings or memories attached with each experience & story. 

In the framing, re-framing & making meaning process, the artwork becomes illuminated with new symbolic & positive meanings. The illuminated artwork accelerates transformational change as the client now consciously identifies to an empowered & positive set of beliefs & attitudes towards their story & experiences.

At Sydney Art Therapy I believe each child has star qualities, & inside each child is their treasure. Together we will find their treasure & your child will discover joy again.

What is Art Therapy: Text


Art Therapy can help children & young people with a wide range of issues open up & creatively express their emotions.

The nature of making art is both calming & healing. Art Therapy allows emotions, fears & experiences to be expressed through the creative process in a way that is empowering.

While Art Therapy is for all people, it can be particularly beneficial for children & young persons with:

  • A mental health condition 

  • A disability 

  • Neurodiversity

  • PTSD

  • Complex trauma

  • Eating disorders

  • Grief & Loss 

  • Chronic illness

  • Adjusting to change

  • Exploring Identity, Gender and Sexuality

What is Art Therapy: Text



  1. Improved mental health  - Children & young people who commit to weekly individual art therapy report feeling happy and excited about life and as now having great mental health. This is because they feel excited about life, have really wonderful friendships at school, relationships with their families are significantly improved & they no longer feel anxious & depressed.

  2. Improved Mood - Most children & young people comment they feel peaceful, calm & content after their session of art therapy. Art making, & movement promotes wellbeing & emotional regulation.  

  3. Emotional Wellbeing - The art therapist witnesses & acknowledges the young persons art making, and exploration of feelings & experiences. This witnessing is an important process in healing a young persons sadness. 

  4. Art therapy relieves anxiety - as it can be released out of the body, through movement of making art & onto the page through the symbolism of the art work.

  5. Significantly Improved Self Confidence - Children & young people consistently experience growing self awareness through art therapy. Limiting beliefs & perceptions about self are discovered & transformed into empowered beliefs.  This process of unravelling, uncovering & discovering of the self brings about increased confidence as their art making leads to empowering liberation & positive changes. 

  6. Improved relationships - Children & young people report improved friendships, improved relationships with their parents & siblings & also healthier partner choices. Most families will report a noticeably happier & calmer child/young person, teachers report greater school attendance & interest in activities/learning.

  7. Emotional Release - A safe space for children & young people to explore, express & release their emotions through the art making process. Young people often leave their art therapy session feeling lighter.

  8. Therapeutic Relationship - Children & young people engaging with an art therapist can experience a positive adult relationship as well as engaging in social interaction.

  9. Understand Boundaries - The therapeutic relationship is an opportunity for children & young people to learn & understand boundaries as the art therapist will hold consistent & positive boundaries.

  10. Sensory Therapy - Children & young people will use art materials to self sooth.  Young people will paint with their fingers, run their hands through the pots of paints & kneed into modelling clay, fimo, and kinetic sand to find their joyful sensory stimulus.

  11. Increased understanding of complex emotions - through the art making, becoming self aware and learned ways to regulate emotions.

  12. Increased self awareness, and awareness of others - limiting beliefs about self and others are transformed through the therapeutic process and art making. 

  13. A developed & sophisticated range of symbolism - a new language of visual symbolism to express and communicate the story.

  14. Improved creativity & imagination - by making art each way and experimenting with ways to communicate and express the self.

  15. Improved emotional language - through a growing self awareness and practicing expressing emotions with art making and sharing their story.

  16. Improved eye contact - through practicing regular eye contact with the art therapist.

  17. Improved emotional intelligence - reduced sensitivity, improved awareness of others needs, healthy connections with others and reduced isolating.

What is Art Therapy: Text
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