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Art Therapy

Using Creative Expression to Promote Wellness and Insight

Art Therapy is a non-judgmental form of psychotherapy that encourages individuals to put their inner thoughts and emotions into a tangible, external form through the creative process.  This can include a wide range of mediums such as drawing, painting, sculpture, and even music or dance.  By engaging in the creative process, individuals can express themselves in a safe and supportive environment, without fear of judgment or criticism.  This can help to promote emotional healing, reduce stress and anxiety, and develop a deeper understanding of one’s own thoughts and behaviours.  At Thinkahead, Art Therapy is available to individuals of all ages and abilities, providing a unique and powerful way to promote emotional, psychological, and physical well-being.


  • Free drawing or painting
    Clients are encouraged to create whatever they feel compelled to express, without a specific prompt or direction.
  • Guided drawing or painting
    The therapist provides a prompt or theme to help clients focus their artwork. This can be helpful for clients who have difficulty expressing themselves or need a starting point.
  • Collage
    Clients cut out images from magazines or other sources and arrange them on a page to create a visual representation of their thoughts or feelings.
  • Clay or sculpture
    Clients use clay or other materials to create a three-dimensional representation of their emotions or experiences.
  • Sand play
    Clients use a tray of sand and miniature figurines to create a scene that represents their thoughts or emotions.  This technique is often used with children.
  • Metaphor and symbolism
    Therapists may ask clients to explore the metaphors or symbols in their artwork to gain insight into their feelings or experiences.  For example, a client might draw a tree with deep roots to represent their feelings of stability and security.
  • Visual Journaling
    Involves creating a visual diary or journal using a variety of art materials.  It helps individuals to process their emotions and experiences through creative expression.
  • Mindfulness-Based Art Therapy
    Combines mindfulness practices with art therapy to promote relaxation, emotional regulation, and self-awareness.
  • Narrative Art Therapy
    This technique involves creating a visual story using art materials. This can be helpful in exploring personal narratives and promoting self-expression.
  • Expressive Art Therapy
    Involves integrating multiple forms of creative expression, such as drawing, writing, movement, and music, to facilitate self-expression and exploration.
  • Play-based Art therapy
    Combines play and art to help children express their emotions and thoughts. It allows them to engage in a non-threatening and enjoyable activity while exploring their inner feelings.  This type of therapy encourages creativity, imagination, and self-expression, and can be a valuable tool for children who have experienced trauma or are struggling with emotional or behavioural issues.  Through play-based art therapy, children can develop coping skills and a sense of control over their lives, while building trusting relationships with their therapist.

Art therapy techniques and goals can vary depending on the needs and preferences of each individual client.  Art therapists work collaboratively with their clients to develop a plan that meets their unique needs and goals.

Benefits of Art Therapy

Art Therapy can help individuals:

  • Improve cognitive functioning
  • Develop sensory and fine-motor skills
  • Foster self-esteem and self-awareness
  • Cultivate emotional resilience and self-regulation
  • Promote insight
  • Develop social and interpersonal skills
  • Reduce and resolve conflicts and distress
  • Develop healthy coping skills

Art Therapy for Mental Health Issues

Art Therapy is often used to address mental health issues, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and perfectionism
  • Attention Disorders
  • Grief and loss
  • Dementia
  • Eating disorders
  • PTSD and Trauma
  • Relationship issues
  • Self-harm and suicidal thoughts
  • Addiction

Art Therapy for Individuals with Disabilities

Art Therapy can be a powerful tool for individuals with disabilities, who may face unique challenges related to their disability. Through creative process, individuals with disabilities can express themselves, develop fine motor skills, improve cognitive functioning, and enhance self-regulation.

Our Art Therapists work with children, adolescents, and adults with various abilities and disabilities, including but not limited to:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Developmental Delays
  • Intellectual Disabilities
  • Physical Disabilities
  • Sensory Processing Disorders
  • Speech and Language Disorders
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

What to Expect from Art Therapy Sessions

If you or someone you know is considering Art Therapy, it’s important to know what to expect from a session.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Art Therapy is available for people of all ages, including children, teens, and adults, regardless of artistic ability or talent.
  • Art Therapy is different from an art class.  An art class focuses on teaching technique or creating a specific finished product, whereas art therapy focuses on letting clients explore their inner experience through the art-making process.  In creating art, people are able to focus on their own perceptions, imagination, and feelings.  Clients are encouraged to create art that expresses their inner world more than making something that is an expression of the outer world.
  • Our Art Therapists are experienced clinicians and are registered with ANZACATA, the peak professional association for Creative Arts Therapies in Australia, New Zealand, and the Asia/Pacific region.
  • Funding options include NDIS funding for CB Daily Living registration category for art therapy services.  Some private health funds may also provide rebates for art therapy sessions, so please check with your provider to determine eligibility.  Medicare does not currently fund Art Therapy sessions.

By providing a safe and supportive environment, our Art Therapists help clients express their thoughts and emotions, promote self-discovery, and develop healthy coping skills.

We understand that every individual is unique and will have different goals for therapy.  Our Art Therapists work collaboratively with each client to develop a personalised plan that is tailored to their individual needs and goals.

Types of Art Therapy Programs

  • Personalised 1:1 Art Therapy: 1-hour sessions weekly or fortnightly.  This program is for those who want to commit to more consistent Art Therapy sessions.
  • Group Program: This program is a weekly 1 hour group sessions which runs for the duration of a school term.  This program is for those who want to connect with others in a safe and creative environment.