Art therapy is a creative process in which the physical act of making art is the therapy. It is a wonderful option for individuals (especially children) that find it difficult to express themselves verbally.
Art therapy is a gentle but effective way of allowing clients to express their feelings, thoughts, and emotions, while providing a safe environment from which to create.
Art therapy is the practice of using art itself as the means of therapy. It has been shown that art is the most natural and innate means of expression, and thus a very safe and gentle way of approaching repressed issues.
I have found this to be especially true in children who find it difficult to express themselves verbally. Children naturally love to draw and create, and without knowing, they often produce images that open doors to the real issues at hand. It is because the images are drawn by the children themselves that they are more open to discussing what's behind them and elaborating on the objects and meanings within them.
In my experience, because it is such a gentle process, parents find it less difficult to get children to therapy and children find it less threatening to be there. Most children end up looking forward to the next opportunity when they can draw or paint or simply create. It is because of this ease and comfort that children eventually end up finding the voice that frees them from their silence.
Art therapy is also extremely effective with adults as it provides an opportunity to engage the hands while freeing the mind from everyday concerns and expectations. It's a great way to get back in touch with your inner child while healing your adult self.