VA Palo Alto Health Care System
What is Art Therapy?
Art therapy is based on the idea that the creative process of art making is healing and life enhancing, and is a form of nonverbal communication of thoughts and feelings (American Art Therapy Association, 1996).
Art therapy encourages personal growth, increases self-understanding and assists in emotional reparation.
Art Therapy at VAPAHCS
VAPAHCS has three outpatient clinics that provide art therapy groups and individual art therapy sessions for Veterans with PTSD. These three clinics are located in Menlo Park, San Jose, and Livermore. Art therapy is offered within the Veteran’s PTSD treatment. Participation in this treatment modality does not require any artistic training. The therapists involved in providing this treatment are all trained registered / licensed art therapists.
Art therapy helps individuals to:
- Create meaning;
- Achieve insight;
- Find relief from overwhelming emotions or trauma and PTSD;
- Resolve conflicts and problems, enrich daily life;
- Achieve an increased sense of well-being.