Art therapy uses visual expression to help us learn new ways to communicate with our unconscious selves. It can help us look at problems in new and different ways. Particularly with children, who generally lack the verbal vocabulary to communicate well, art therapy can give valuable information about what is going on internally. Art therapists use many different art media, from painting, drawing, and collage to clay and sculpture to help the client work through their problems. Art therapy can also be a cathartic release to allow a person to reach a resolution, work through trauma or search for new ways of self-expression.
Art therapists are trained to recognize the nonverbal symbols and metaphors that are communicated within the creative process. These symbols and metaphors might be difficult to express verbally. By helping their clients discover what underlying thoughts and feelings are communicated in the artwork and what it means to them, clients will gain insight and judgment, but also develop a better understanding of themselves and the way they relate to the people around them.