The American Art Therapy Association defines art therapy as “the therapeutic use of art making, within a professional relationship, by people who experience illness, trauma or challenges in living, and by people who seek personal development. Through creating art and reflecting on the art products and processes, people can increase awareness of self and others, cope with symptoms, stress, and traumatic experiences; enhance cognitive abilities; and enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of making art.” AATA 2010 http://www.arttherapy.org
RCASA has recently added Danica Henrich, Art Therapist and Counselor, to their staff. Danica graduated from Eastern Virginia Medical School with a Masters in Science in Art Therapy. Danica worked with adolescents at a residential treatment center for four years before opening a private practice in Richmond, Virginia and joining RCASA. Danica is passionate about Art and the benefits of art making! She believes that the process of making art, of being creative, allows you to open up and to be free. Danica believes that art is healing and life enhancing. Art making can tap into your thoughts and emotions without fear. The walls are brought down, leaving just truth. Danica wants to help others feel the curative properties that art can offer. She wants to help guide others on their journey of self discovery and healing, because she knows that Art Fosters Growth and Encourages Life.
So I asked Danica, how does it work?
“When I approach developing a plan for working with a client I may look
at their need and utilize the Expressive Therapies Continuum in order
to determine what media would suit the client best. The Expressive
Therapies Continuum is a model for looking at how individuals
typically respond to various art materials based on the structure of
the art material itself. For example. Colored pencils are a very
structured media choice and utilizing colored pencils during art
making may aid an individual, who is struggling with containing their
emotions, in self regulation. On the opposite end, Paint is a very
loose and fluid material which could help to evoke expression.”
Art Therapy is certainly a unique and emerging approach to counseling. RCASA is thrilled to be able to offer this form of counseling to it’s clients.