Art therapist/art psychotherapist

Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its main mode of expression and communication.  Art therapists/art psychotherapists* use art as a medium to address emotional issues which may be confusing and distressing.

This page has information on the role of an art therapist with links to further information.

*The terms 'art therapist' and 'art psychotherapist' are interchangeable in the UK.

Working life

You'll use art to help people deal with complex and confusing emotional issues. There may be things which clients cannot say in words. This could be because the emotions are too distressing. Or it may be because the client has difficulties with communication.

Part of the role is to work in distinct ways with clients in different environments. You'll create a secure environment which helps people build their self awareness and self confidence.

You'll work with people of all ages - children, young people adults and the elderly. Your clients may have a range of difficulties such as emotional, behavioural or mental health problems, learning or physical disabilities, life-limiting conditions, neurological conditions or physical illnesses. They also work in a variety of settings such as:

You'll work one-to-one or in groups, depending on the needs of the client. In a group, you'll encourage members to relate to each other through their art and help the group work through the images and their meanings.

You may work with other professionals including medical and health care staff, teachers or prison and probation staff.

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