Art therapy originated in the fields of art and psychotherapy and may vary the diagnostic technique of preparing the child for school definition. Art therapy may focus on the creative art-making process itself, as therapy, or on the analysis of expression gained through an exchange of patient and therapist interaction. The psychoanalytic approach was one of the earliest forms of art psychotherapy.
This approach employs the transference process between the therapist and the client who makes art. Analysis of transference is no longer always a component. Various definitions of the term “art therapy” exist. The British Association of Art Therapists defines art therapy as “a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary mode of expression and communication. The American Art Therapy Association defines art therapy as: “an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship. As a mental health profession, art therapy is employed in many clinical and other settings with diverse populations.
Art therapy can also be found in non-clinical settings, as well as in art studios and in creativity development workshops. Using their evaluative and psychotherapy skills, art therapists choose materials and interventions appropriate to their clients’ needs and design sessions to achieve therapeutic goals and objectives. Stephney’s book Art Therapy With Students At Risk: Fostering Resilience and Growth through Self-Expression, Stephney states that art therapy can be used to help at-risk children. People always search for some escape from illness and it has been found that art is one of the more common methods.