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Frequently Asked Questions

THE BASICS

What is art therapy?

Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses the creative process to support self-expression and insight into our thoughts and feelings. Art therapy is all about the process and experience of art-making. It provides opportunities to discover personal strengths and explore imaginative problem-solving. The art therapist’s role is to provide structure in a safe environment where clients feel free to explore and express themselves through the art process.

How does art therapy work?

Art therapy is based on the understanding that verbal communication is only one way we experience, express, and engage with our world. There are so many additional elements to our experience that are beyond words. When we invite creativity into our self expression and communication, we allow access to these other elements.

By inviting our whole selves into the therapy process, we are often able to connect deeply with ourselves and others, learn new things, and share our experiences in meaningful ways. This process can develop communication skills, teach effective ways to express and manage our feelings, and build confidence in our ability to face challenges.

Do I need to be artistic to do art therapy?

No! What’s important is the experience of being creative and making something. You will be invited to play with and use art materials for the purpose of self discovery.  This approach is accessible for and inclusive of all experiences and abilities. No artistic talent or training is necessary.

Is art therapy only for kids?

No! Self-expression through creativity is a lifelong opportunity! Children often connect well with art therapy because their natural forms of expression and self reflection are through art and play. Art therapy can be a great fit for individuals of all ages who feel less comfortable talking and would prefer to be doing something.

Is art therapy appropriate for non-verbal clients?

Yes! There are so many non-verbal ways we can connect and communicate. Talking is not necessary for the process – that’s one of the things I love about it!

When art therapy is for a child, are caregivers involved in the process?

Absolutely! Caregivers are an essential part of the process, as a child’s progress is supported by their insight, care, and involvement.

Before the child begins therapy, the therapist and caregivers will have an initial consultation to determine goals and co-create a plan.

Usually, it is recommended that the child attends individual art therapy sessions without their caregiver. This is so that the sessions become the child’s own safe space where they can work towards goals with the therapist one-on-one. If important things come up during the session, the therapist will support the child to communicate them.

The therapist will also meet with the caregivers, without the child, at a frequency that suits each family. During feedback meetings, the therapist and caregivers can share progress updates and observations, re-evaluate goals, and collaborate on practical strategies.

If a different approach would better suit your family, your therapist will be happy to explore this with you during your initial consultation.

What are some possible benefits of art therapy?

discover inner resourcefulness

build self esteem

learn new ways of expressing yourself

incorporate sensory experience with emotional processing

learn and practice externalizing emotions

discover personal strengths

increase confidence

learn practical strategies for managing anxiety

increase emotion regulation

feelings of acknowledgement and validation

pride in accomplishments

enjoyment through art making

feel calmer after your session

learn to create small scale change which can lead to larger changes

Are there any risks to art therapy?

There are no major risks associated with art therapy, but it is important for you to know that as with any form of therapy, participation may bring up feelings and may cause you to think about things a bit differently.

Your therapist is there to support you on your journey, so it’s important that you feel comfortable to share how you are feeling. Your therapist can support you if feelings are overwhelming and can recommend additional resources if necessary.

The other potential risk is that your clothes might get a bit messy! 😉

THE LOGISTICS

Do you offer a virtual (online) option for art therapy?

Yes! There are virtual (online) options available for each type of appointment. I use a secure, PHIPA-compliant video conferencing platform called Doxy.me for virtual (online) art therapy sessions.

How often will I attend art therapy?

Most clients attend art therapy weekly, every other week, or once a month. The recommended frequency is determined by your unique goals and needs.

How many sessions will I need?

The number of sessions required will be determined by your goals for therapy. Your therapist will be able to provide a more accurate answer to this question once you have shared a little bit about your situation.

Is art therapy covered by OHIP or insurance?

Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy, which is not covered by OHIP. However, many extended health care benefits do provide coverage for psychotherapy. Your insurance provider can help you determine the coverage with your plan.

What forms of payment do you take?

My services are fee for service, which means that payment is due at the time the service is received. I accept debit, credit, cash, or cheque.

What is your cancellation policy?

I require 24 hours notice of cancellations or changes to appointments. If appropriate notice is not given, a fee will be charged for the missed appointment.

Where are you located?

My office is inside Shift: A Family Health Centre, 105 Queen Street West, Unit 7, Fergus ON, N1M 1S6. The building is accessible.

What about ethics?

I am a Registered Psychotherapist and a Registered Canadian Art Therapist. I abide by the code of ethics and the standards of practice of both the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario and the Canadian Art Therapy Association. You are welcome to contact them if you have questions or would like more information.