In art therapy people are asked to express themselves through drawing, painting or modelling in clay. Normal responses are usually a sense of relaxation, a release of tension, an improvement in self-confidence and reduced anxiety.
When art therapy is practised as part of Freudian or Jungian analysis the psychoanalyst may offer interpretations of the symbols used. Humanistic psychotherapists are more likely to invite the client to suggest interpretations. But explicit interpretation is not always necessary. The very act of self-expression is often sufficient to relieve past emotional problems, to help to establish a clearer sense of identity and purpose, and to draw attention to new directions for the future, without the need for verbalisation. Often this makes Art Therapy more suitable for the less articulate or for people who are not well served by talk therapies. For those with no appetite to use a pencil or a paintbrush sandplay is another kind of creative therapy.
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