I am majoring in art therapy and everyone asks me what it is. Well, in art therapy, the patient is making art and using that process to improve their emotional, mental, and physical well-being. The therapist then leads asks questions about their artwork and how it may apply to their own lives. It’s honestly not as hippy as it sounds.
In the usual therapy setting, the patient and the therapist would be conversing back and forth. Art therapy is often used with people that are autistic or speech deficiency. Taking the attention off the patient and how well they communicate and putting it on the artwork has allowed for an alternative way of verbalizing emotions.
While working and arranging flowers, I wondered if there are ways that floristry could be incorporated to art therapy. After extensive research, I couldn't find anything out there regarding floristry and art therapy. Well, I think that floral design can definitely be incorporated into an art therapy session because it allows the patient to feel like they have control over something, even when a lot of the stressful events in their life are out of their control.
After much thought, this is how I would apply flowers in an art therapy session with a child: I would collect different colors, sizes, and types of flowers that are both dead and alive and lay them in front of the child. I then ask the child to create a “self-portrait” of themselves by gluing the flowers onto a piece of paper. The child would pick whatever flowers they wanted for their eyes, hair, and face. A very effective method for a child to self-disclose in art therapy is for the therapist to ask questions about how the character feels that they just created. I would ask questions like, “Why do think the girl is made of flowers that are dried up? How do you think the girl is feeling today? Where do you think the girl is going to go if she were to go somewhere?” Asking these questions would allow the child to speak indirectly about their own life, and this could would be a great way to help them talk through problems that they have.