Art therapy (visually plastic art therapy) is a branch of psychotherapy that uses visually plastic art materials for personal growth and communication development. It is a method with integrated psychotherapy and creative expression to improve mental, emotional, social and physical health.

Visually plastic art therapy is suitable for children from an early age and helps to fight depression, anxiety, stress, as well as raise self-esteem, helps to regulate emotions and contributes to children's development. 

Mākslas terapija

Visually plastic art therapy is applied for rehabilitation and treatment of children and young people with:

  • severe and moderate mental and physical disabilities;
  • autism spectrum disorders;
  • attention deficit disorder;
  • severe emotional trauma;
  • behavioural disorders;
  • post-traumatic stress syndrome

A creative process, working with visually plastic materials involves the whole body, all senses and feelings. It can contribute to the healing process, especially in cases where deep feelings or other reasons prevent one from expressing feelings in words – visual expression often says more than words. By expressing their emotions and feelings through visually plastic materials, a person can feel that they can still express themselves and influence events in their lives.

The patient does not need artistic talent or special skills to participate in art therapy processes.

What materials are used in visually plastic art therapy?

Various materials are used in a visually plastic art therapy session, such as coloured pencils, crayons, oil pastels, gouache and watercolour paints, plasticine, clay and others. Sessions include drawing, modelling and collage techniques. Clients are encouraged to express themselves freely using the materials available.

The course of the visual-plastic art therapy session

The art therapy session lasts 50 minutes. During the session, the client is encouraged to use available materials to express and explore their feelings and experiences together with the art therapist. The art therapist helps to link the creative processes with the clients feelings, allowing the client to get to know themselves more deeply. The sessions are client-centred and psychodynamic.

Benefits of visually plastic art therapy

Art therapy helps to:

  • reduce stress;
  • reduce anxiety;
  • better regulate emotions;
  • develop self-confidence;
  • cope with difficult experiences;
  • build communication skills in children with autism;
  • reduce physical pain for various medical conditions, etc.

Individual art therapy sessions are available for patients aged 2 to 18 years in Latvian and English.

Provides the services paid by insurance companies and fee-based services.

Visually plastic art therapy sessions at Children's Health Centre, branch of Veselības centrs 4, are conducted by art therapist Ingrīda Zvēra, who studied visually plastic art therapy at Goldsmiths, University of London, the first university in Europe to train art therapists.

Ingrīda Zvēra is a member of the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT).

The service is available in the following branches

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