Clients who are referred to an art therapist need not have previous experience or skill in art, the art therapist is not primarily concerned with making an aesthetic or diagnostic assessment of the client's image.
The overall aim of its practitioners is to enable a client to effect change and growth on a personal level through the use of art materials in a safe and facilitating environment.
This form of therapy is based on a psychodynamic model of psychotherapy, with focus on attachment, relational and narrative therapy. The relationship between the therapist and the client is of central importance, but art therapy differs from other psychological therapies in that it is a three way process between the client, the therapist and the image or artefact. Thus it offers the opportunity for expression and communication and can be particularly helpful to people who find it hard to express their thoughts and feelings verbally.
All the art work is confidential and is kept by the art therapist until the end of the art therapy sessions, but it is returned to the client at the end of the therapy.