Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I have to be good at art to participate in art therapy?
No, you don't. You can make meaningful artwork in therapy without being a trained or skilled artist.
Q: Will the therapist be teaching me techniques?
Probably not. If you need technical advice, the therapist may help. Art therapy is different from art class. However, you may find developing your artistic ability to be therapeutic.
Q: Will the therapist interpret my work and be able to see things about me that I can't?
You alone create and 'own' your images or pieces. You guide the interpretation and understanding of the images, with the support of your therapist.
There are many theories about the meaning of colours and symbols, some culturally specific or contradictory. Art therapists are aware of many theories and hold them in mind. They help you find you know which is meaningful to you. They do not impose meaning on your work.
Q: What if I'm not able to paint a picture?
That's OK. Art therapy is more about finding ways to express your feelings and ideas with art materials. Scribbles and marks are fine, as is touching or exploring materials. You might happen to make a finished art work, but you won't be expected to.
Q: Will I need to bring paints or brushes etc?
You won't be expected to as the therapist will have lots of materials available for you to use. However, you may find that you want to bring things to use, perhaps things you find between sessions, such as leaves, tickets or copies of photos.
Q: Will I get dirty?
You might feel freer if you wear something you don't mind getting marked. Or you may choose to bring an old shirt in your bag. Your therapist may have an apron, especially if (s)he works with children.
Q: Can I take my work with me?
Generally the therapist holds the art work, which is kept in an individual folder in a safe place. At the end of therapy it is up to you whether you wish to take your work or not.
Q: Will I be working in a group?
Art therapy can be individual, or in a group. It depends on where you go for art therapy.
Q: Who is Music Therapy for?
Everyone and anyone. Music Therapy is a flexible intervention which may be geared to suit any personal, emotional, healthcare, special education or social dysfunction situation.
Q:Does one have to be musical?
Music Therapy considers everyone as ‘musical beings’, irrespective of their physical, mental or emotional status. Thus, anyone can engage.
Q:Does one have to be able to play an instrument?
Music Therapy is frequently about interacting with music-sound in a creative play mode. It may involve making improvised sounds with instruments and voice, but no prior training is necessary.
Q:What happens in a Music Therapy session ?
This varies widely, and will depend on the inclinations, preferences and dispositions of the individual client. All ages and all situations are catered for. A Music Therapist will offer different options in instrumental sounds, music patterns, vocalisations, improvisations etc.. playing listening and exploring many possibilities. The sessions are usually client-led, interactive and dynamic operating a free creative zone of personal expression. The sessions may be mostly non-verbal, using the music-sound exchange as a framework of communication.
Q: How does Music Therapy work?
It works on the innate human impulse to engage with, react to, and identify with music-sound. This allows people to explore new possibilities, helping transform and enhance their individual well-being. The therapeutic relationship between client and therapist is crucial in building and sustaining a trusting, non-judgemental shared space of creative engagement.
Q: Is Music Therapy about performance, or learning music?
No. Music Therapy is about processing personal dilemmas, intellectual shortfalls, emotional issues, physical compromise, social behaviours etc. It does not aim to teach, prepare for performance or specialise in any particular type of music. It is an open approach to experiencing music-sound, geared to addressing perceived personal needs.
Q; Do I need to be able to act to participate in dramatherapy?
No. Dramatherapy helps people to use their creativity to work on issues that are important to them. It does this by using Dramatic and Theatrical processes which are explained to the client but you do NOT have to act to make use of Dramatherapy.
Q: Do I have to role play in front of other people?
No. You will not have to do anything you do not want to do. While Dramatherapy can involve the process of taking on roles - this is only done if the client wants to do this. There are many other ways in which Dramatherapy can work with a client. For example through storymaking, using scripts, movement, sound etc.
Q: Do I have to dress up?
No. Again. You do not have to do anything that you do not want to do. In Dramatherapy the methods used are chosen to suit the client and what he/she is comfortable with. The use of costume and dressing up will only be used where appropriate and so long as the client is happy to do so.
Q: Is dramatherapy always done in a group?
No. Dramatherapy can be done with individuals and in a group setting.
Q: Will I have to speak or perform?
Dramatherapy is psychotherapy through the medium of drama. Obviously, for the client to benefit communication is essential. However, one of the advantages of Dramatherapy is that it offers the client a range of communication opportunities - through movement, sound, facial expression, role, and creative imagination. The client will not be asked to do anything they do not wish to do – including performing.
What type of dance or movement is it?
Whatever movement style you are most comfortable with, for example, it might depend on what music you like. DMT is not a class or about becoming a good dancer.
Do I need to be a good dancer, physically fit or able-bodied?
No. DMT is not a dance or fitness class so you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.
Do you have to dance the whole time?
No. There’s talking time as well. It depends on you and how you’re feeling on the day.
Should I do individual or group DMT?
Individual DMT gives you the chance to really focus in on some personal issues. As you’re on your own with the therapist, you’re free to talk about and explore what you want, knowing that it’s a confidential space just for you.
Group DMT can be helpful if there is a common issue that a group of people want to explore, such as living with an eating disorder or anxiety. Group DMT also gives you a chance to focus on how you are socially and how you interact with other people. It can be helpful for people who find it difficult being in a group and want to get more confidence. There are usually 6 people in a group and everyone has to agree to confidentiality. A DMT group runs for at least 8 weeks and is cheaper than individual DMT.
What happens in a DMT session?
A DMT session usually involves:
1) a check-in at the beginning to find out what’s been going on for you since the last session
2) a warm-up which will warm up your body and help you to focus on the here and now
3) an open part in the middle for you to explore what is important to you that day
4) a cool-down which will help you cool down and get ready to go back out to the world
Before you start therapy, you will get a chance to meet with the therapist and talk about your life and the issues that you want to explore and deal with. A "contract" will be drawn up between client and therapist to agree on number of sessions and frequency of DMT sessions.