In traditional psychotherapy, you are able to discuss your feelings and episodes of your life, that you think are relevant to the Therapy. In Art Therapy, you also do this, but additionally you create drawings, pictures and sculptures that reflect a lot more than what you are aware of...
Why is this?
Because through drawings or paintings you are able to bring out the unconscious memories and feelings that are stored in the brain.
The right hemisphere of the brain is our creative side, we activate it when we are creating, and it is precisely in this hemisphere of the brain where we store all the difficult memories of experiences that we don't want to deal with. The brain hides them here as a defense mechanism, but these un-dealt memories or beliefs about ourselves, continue to cause us trouble until we are able to access and deal with them.
You and the therapist are able to discuss the piece of art, and what it is reflecting. through these pieces you are able to understand where certain behaviors and feelings come from. Once you understand the origin or source, you are able to understand and gain a feeling of relief, empowerment and validation.
You are able to know yourself better, love yourself as you are, and change the patterns that are hurting you.
So it's a quick fix?
No, Therapy can take weeks, months or years. It brings permanent and life changing results, but it all depends on how you approach it. You have to walk the path, the therapist can only show you the way.