"What if I"m not artistic, do I have to do art therapy?
You always get to the be the one to decide if you want to make art during your session. I am happy to provide either talk therapy or art therapy, and you get to choose. That said, it"s important to know that art therapy is not just for artists. It"s not about making beautiful art pieces (although sometimes that happens too). It"s more about the process of artmaking and finding ways to express yourself. To me, "art" in art therapy might also include sharing songs or poems, movement through dance or yoga, storytelling, or playing games. You get to decide!
For some folks, doing art while we talk can be a helpful "distraction" to make it a little less awkward to talk about hard stuff. For other folks, talking about things might just not be their jam, and we can use art as the main way we process thoughts or feelings.
If I choose to do art, are you going to interpret it or use it to look deep into my soul?
It"s not exactly like I have a magic decoder ring that is going to tell me what your artwork really means. There might be times when we will look at your art together, and I will ask you questions to help you decide what it means. But the great thing about art is that you get to decide how much or how little you want to tell me about it.
Are you going to tell my parent everything I tell you?
Absolutely not. I strongly believe that your therapy is your time. In order for therapy to work, we need to trust each other, and it"s really hard to build trust if you are worried that I"m going to tell your parent everything we talk about. There might be times when I will encourage you to talk to your parent about something or will help support you in tough conversations with your parentbut you get to be the one to decide if you are ready to do that.
In fact, there are actually laws that forbid me to tell anyone the details of what we talk about, unless you give me permission. There are some exceptions to that law thoughand that is if I am worried about your immediate safety. But even in those situations, I try my best to give you the heads up and let you know what I am going to say. If we end up working together, we will talk more about confidentiality and what that means.
Therapy was my parent"s idea. What if I don"t want to do this?
A lot of teens don"t want to go to therapyespecially if your parents are the ones making you go. I get that. It"s hard to talk about problems, and sometimes you might not even agree with your parents that there is a problem! This is why I think it"s really important that you and I build a good, trusting relationship. Even if it"s your parents sending you to therapy, it is still your therapy. I work really hard to make sure that your voice is heard in that process.
I also really, strongly believe that therapy can be helpful. (Go figure. I am a therapist, after all). I"m also one of those crazy adults who thinks therapy has potential to be fun and enjoyable. But if you are absolutely determined not to talk about feelings or problems, that"s fine too. I will not "force" you to talk about those things (even if your parents are "forcing" you to come to therapy). I want to make therapy as least miserable as possible, so that if or when you decide you might be ready to process stuff, that you at least feel like you"ve had a good experience with a therapist.