The therapeutic relationship or therapeutic alliance is said to be one of the most important components of successful therapy.
"Therapeutic alliance and its connection to youth outcomes appears to transcend treatment type and client population." (Kelley, Bickman, & Norwood, 2010, p. 339).
Art therapy can enhance the therapeutic relationship by providing clients with the opportunity to be seen as well as heard. Cathy Malchiodi tells us that the therapist’s ability to provide full attention to a person’s creative process and images, communicates they are seeing and understanding correctly what the person is expressing through art (Malchiodi, 2011). This could be the first time a person has ever felt truly heard and seen, which can be a profoundly healing experience.
Art therapy can often be the therapy of choice for young people, as art making allows them to express themselves freely without the limitations of language, whilst they are still developing their vocabularies for describing feel...