Frequently Asked Questions about Healing Art Therapy


Some answers to some questions about Healing Art, Art Therapy and the overlap between art and healing.

(Note that the expression 'The Healing Arts' is also often used to refer to 'the art of healing' and thus embraces a wide range of holistic, complementary and alternative therapies.  For more on these topics see my FAQ on Healing and 'How to choose a Therapy')


What do you mean by 'healing' (in the context of art)?

Anything that helps us gain a sense of well-being, that helps us feel better in ourselves, more at peace with ourselves and the world.

Generally, when speaking about healing art, we mean painting or drawing (or dancing or writing, etc...) to explore issues we are working on, rather than painting or drawing for pleasure. Healing is the process of working on and through an issue . . . in this case using art as an enabler.

However, art can assist our 'healing' in many ways, some more pro-active than others - see our 'Healing Arts Spectrum'.


So how do Healing Art(s) workshops achieve these goals?

In many ways. For example by using visualisations, music and guided meditations prior to and during time to write, paint or draw. This helps your mind disengage from its problems and gives it a positive focus enabling your expressive side an outlet. Your response to any issues you are working on during the session may be:

- Emotionally: the memories triggered might enable us to release pent up emotions through crying, for example.

- Spiritually: we may be moved at an even deeper level, connecting to more fundamental feeling about life, death, love, etc..

And what about art 'for pleasure' -  is this a distraction?

It might be just that - taking our mind off our problems, but more often it's a trigger for the imagination and inspiration. It too can be effective in healing because works at a number of levels:

- Consciously, but giving the eyes and senses something to focus on . . . and thus not feeding our worries or frustrations.

- Sub-consciously, giving our mind space to bring relevant issues to our attention.

We can feel more relaxed by looking at certain works of art. i.e. visual art as a passive aid to relaxation. The style, art-from and subject that bests achieves this for a given individual will vary greatly, but a peaceful landscape painting, for example can help to transport us away from the troubles in our mind.

There is thus a whole 'Healing Arts Specrum'.

So art (either looking at it, or using it to release) is, by it's nature, healing!?



So why do we need healing art therapy?

Because many folk have become so disconnected from their natural emotions and creative selves that they're not aware of the above values. The therapy enables, and guides you in finding the questions you need to ask. It provides facilities and supportive environment in which to get the best out of an art experience.


The normal expression is 'art therapist', you talk about 'healing art therapist' - what's the difference?

In many quarters 'art therapy' is considered a psychological approach - for example the artwork resulting from an art therapy session is analysed to help work through a counselling session. Such analytical features of art therapy obviously have their uses, but by 'healing art therapy' we mean a broader based approach . . . one that emphasises the more intuitive and spiritual natures of healing.



Those who see health and healing in a more holistic way believe that, at some level, we know why we're unwell or unhappy . . . and that by tapping into this inner/higher level within us we can get some insight into how we're feeling . . . and what we can do about it. Healing, especially if used alongside art, can enable and enhance our intuition and thus access our inner wisdom.



Many healers feel that the deepest and more effective healing comes once we acknowledge our spiritual nature and see our lives and health in terms of our soul's progression as we live here on earth. Likewise many of the best artists are considered genius and 'divinely inspired'. In both cases it is the connection to 'the divinity within' that has the effect . . . be it to produce the best art . . . or most effective healing.


You're implying that healing art therapy may involve actual healing as well as art, is that so?

Yes. The two support and enable each other. Healing (in this case Reiki, but any other form of healing will do the same thing) helps to connect us to our creative, intuitive and spiritual self . . . and that connection can then be expressed through art.


Do I need to be any good at Art to get a healing benefit?

NO! Even if you've always been told (and thus think) you can't draw, you'll be able to produce something . . . however simplistic or naive it might seem. Indeed, sometimes this raw expression is more useful from a healing perspective . . . BECAUSE it's come out (from our inner self) naturally . . . not forced. Trying too hard can spoil any art-work.

What other activities might take place under the 'healing art(s)' banner?

In some quarters, ANY form of healing or complementary therapy is considered a healing art . . . just as nursing could be considered an art, or as having an artistic aspect. So do look closely at workshop descriptions to make sure you're getting what you feel you need. For example, in addition to actual healing and art, The Algarve Owl will also use (as and when it seems appropriate):

- visualisations (guided meditations)

- divinations (angel cards, I-ching, dice divis, etc.)

- music (live & recorded)

- the Transformation Game

- countryside to BE in (using our beautiful Algarve mountain location for walks, to meditate on and in)

. . . and our (and your!) psychic and telepathic abilities.


One of our inherent psychic skills is the ability to tap into energies, memories and thoughts of ourselves and others. The combination of healing and art enables the receipt and interpretation of such 'messages'. We can all 'pick up' the 'higher truth' about situations and illnesses in those we're in healing contact with. This can 'come out' by drawing (or painting or writing) immediately after a healing session . . . before our mind starts analysing or thinking about other things. The more we use such abilities, the more we can develop them.

So 'healing art' is useful not just to help us 'here and now', but to develop ways in which we can help ourselves later?


Details of Healing Art workshops


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