Myths About Art Therapy - Part 1
By Jeanette Chan
Art Therapist | thruArts
As art therapy is a fairly new profession in Singapore, art therapists are often
misunderstood by what we do and how we conduct our sessions. Many of you may be
apprehensive about attending any art therapy activities without knowing what you are
in for. I hope to address some misconceptions, and provide clarity on what typical art
therapy sessions generally entails.
MYTH #1 : Art Therapy is like an Art & Craft class
The goal of art therapy is NOT to “teach” art, but to use art in a therapeutic manner.
Some art therapists may provide assistance or instructions on the use of art materials or
techniques to help in your artistic endeavors, but generally does not correct your
artwork. For example, if you draw a square durian, the art therapist will not stop you.
Instead, she will work together with you in understanding the personal meaning behind
MYTH #2: I need to be artistic to benefit
You do not need to be good in art, as art therapy values the art-making process more
than the finished product. You will not be judged for your artistic capability or your
ability to talk about your artwork. The art therapist can work with your apprehension
and introduce art-making at a comfortable pace for you.
MYTH #3: The Art Therapist will just stare in silence while you draw during the art therapy sessions
Silence can be a powerful aspect within the therapeutic relationship, but it does not
define the way in which all art therapist works. Different art therapists have their
personal style within the therapeutic relationship. Some will create art with you at
times, while others do not. Some may encourage you to make art before you share your
thoughts after the art making process, while others may intervene and ask questions
along the way. The purpose is to provide a warm, trusting environment in which you
can feel at ease in expressing yourself.
MYTH #4: The art therapist will know all about you by looking at and interpreting your artwork
Although art therapists are trained in understanding images and symbols, the meaning
of your artwork is always derived directly from you, your personal associations and feelings. The art therapist will help you achieve greater understanding and consider multiple meanings in your artwork by asking questions for you to consider, rather than
supplying you with the answers.
Find Out More!
Stay tuned for the second part of this series to explore more about Art Therapy in the treatment of a wide range of conditions!
At Mind Care Clinic, we strive to offer our patients with a full range of services to help them achieve their goals of emotional wellness. More importantly, we believe in individualizing each patient’s therapy and providing the right fit of services to their needs. We therefore offer our patients a full range of services that include Psychotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Art Therapy.
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Roizen, S. (2011, Feb 21). Top 10 art therapy myths [Web-blog comment]. Retrieved