Creative Therapy

What is Creative Therapy?

Creative Counselling is a branch of Counselling which may be a reference to disciplines like ‘Art Therapy’ with a registered Art Therapist. Alternatively in a more general sense Creative Counselling is a form of Counselling which incorporates creative image or model making into commonly employed talking therapies.[1]  At Heartwork Services we offer the latter form of Counselling.

What is the basis of Creative Therapy?

Art and creativity have been employed as a healing technique for thousands of years.[2]  There are numerous theories about creative therapy. However, each of these theories fall into two main camps.[3]  The first concerns the notion that the creative process itself aids healing. The idea being that the creative process provides a sense of achievement which in turn facilitates a recovery. The second approach recognises the innate healing ability of the creative process but also suggests that the artistic process is a means of aiding someone to communicate difficult, painful, or complex emotions.[4]

How does Creative Therapy Work?

Creative Counselling is not a competition or exhibition where the work will be judged. There is no requirement for artistic skill or expertise. The approach may be adopted by the amateur, the inexperienced, or even someone who may feel they have no artistic skill. The goal is not to make an image that looks like something or someone but is instead to create a work that assists the client to express their thoughts, feelings, and emotions.  The work produced by the client will always be explored in a non-judgemental way.

On a practical level creativity in a counselling session can include many different art materials, such as playing with colour through paint, or using a sand tray to explore shapes, thoughts, and memories, or even creating sculptures with clay. Photography, collage, and drawing tools on a tablet or laptop can also be used during the session or between sessions with view to exploring the work at a counselling session.

What is Creative Therapy Suitable for?

On the basis that creative Counselling at Heartwork Services is used alongside ‘talking counselling’ it can be used to support clients with the same range of difficulties covered by other forms of Counselling. For instance, research has shown that creative counselling is particularly useful for conditions like Trauma,[5] Depression,[6] Anxiety,[7] and Personality Disorders.[8]

If you are ready to explore if this type of therapy is suitable for you or if you want learn more about what we offer by way of Counselling in Dundee and throughout the UK we offer a Free Counselling Consultation by telephone for 20 Minutes to see if we are good fit for you.

Further Creative Resources on this website.

For examples of the types of work that could be produced in Creative Therapy you should review the Creative Gallery.

Or if you would like some inspiration you can look in our Art Gallery for some original works by our Dundee Counsellor.

(Created: 27/03/2022)

References
  1. “Talking Therapies” as the name suggests includes any type of therapy when you talk to  a Counsellor or therapist about a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviour.

  2. Farokhi.M (2011). “Art Therapy in Humanistic Psychiatry”.  Procedia–Social and Behavioural Sciences 30. 2088-2092

  3. Ibid

  4. Ibid

  5. Johnson.D.R. (1987).  The Role of the Creative Art Therapies in the diagnosis and treatment of psychological trauma.  The Arts in Psychotherapy.  Volume 14.  Issue 1, Spring 1987.  P. 7-13

  6. Parsons.A, Omylinska-Thurston. J, Karkou. V, Harlow. J, Haslam.S, Hobson. J, Nair. K, Dubrow-Marshall. L, Thurston. S & Griffin.J (2020) Arts for the blues – a new creative psychological therapy for depression.  British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 48:1, 5-20.

  7. Chambala.A (2008) Anxiety and Art Therapy: Treatment in the Public Eye, Art Therapy, 25:4, 187-189

  8. Haeyen.S, Van Hooren.S, Van Der Veld.W, Hutschemaekers. G (2018).  Promoting mental health versus reducing mental illness in art therapy with patients with personality disorders: A quantitative study.  The Arts in Psychotherapy.  Volume 58, April 2018. P.11-16