Q: Who are the Creative Arts Therapies for?
The creative arts therapies can support a variety of people across the lifespan, from neonates to those in palliative care. Anyone regardless of age or physical, mental or emotional status can participate to reach their full potential. The therapeutic relationship between client and therapist is crucial in building and sustaining a trusting, non-judgmental shared space of creative engagement.
Q: How do the Creative Arts Therapies work?
The creative arts therapies are evidence-based interventions that work on the innate human impulse to engage with, react to, and identify with the creative arts, be it music, art, drama or dance. They are flexible interventions, which can address goals in emotional, communication, physical, behavioural, psychological and social domains. They facilitate the exploration of new capabilities, helping transform and enhance well-being.
Q: Do I have to have had experience in the specific art form?
No prior training is necessary to engage in creative arts therapies, in fact lack of experience in the artistic medium often allows for greater freedom and less restriction in the session. In an art therapy session one can make meaningful artwork without being a trained or skilled artist. The same applies to drama, dance movement and music therapy. Creative arts therapists believe everyone has a rich inner creativity which can be harnessed to facilitate creative play and work on specific clinical goals.
Q: Is there teaching involved?
No. The creative arts therapies are not educational, however that is not to say that individuals do not acquire skills. For example, in a music therapy session an individual may improve their musical skills even though the goals of the therapy are non musical. In an art therapy session a client may be guided or given technical advice if needed, however the relationship is not that of a teacher-student. Developing your artistic ability is often a natural outcome and can be therapeutic.
Q. Is there performing involved?
The creative arts therapies do not aim to teach, prepare for performance or specialise in an art form. The focus is on process rather than product.
Q: Will I be participating in the art form the entire session?
It depends on the individual, the type of session and the theoretical orientation of the therapist. The amount of verbal interaction varies in a session. The creative arts therapies offer a range of communication opportunities through the art forms and are noted for their dynamicity in working with individuals who are non-verbal, have communication deficits or find talking therapies difficult.
Q: Will I be working in a group?
Sessions can be individual or in a group depending on therapeutic goals. An individual session offers a one-to-one interaction with a more intensive and personal focus on therapeutic goals. Group sessions offer opportunities to focus on social interaction and communication with others and can be beneficial for people who share a common experience or diagnosis. Dramatherapy is often facilitated in group sessions although not exclusively.
Q: Will I need to bring materials, props or instruments to sessions?
You won't be expected to, the therapist will provide as necessary.
Q: Can I take my artwork with me?
In art therapy, generally the therapist holds the artwork, which is kept in an individual folder in a safe place until the end of therapy when it may be discussed together. The same may apply to a recording or composition in music therapy.