Clinical Psychologist, Leslie Ebben B.A Psych (UJ), B.A. Hons Psych (UJ), M.A Clin Psych (UJ)

Samantha Davis

Registered Art Psychotherapist

I am an internationally trained Art Psychotherapist in private practice. I work with adults, children, families and corporates in both individual and group capacities. Through the use of different art materials, clients are able to express and explore thoughts and feelings. Art skills are not required.

So what is art therapy?

Art Therapy involves the use of different art materials through which a client can express and explore thoughts and feelings in the presence of a qualified Art Therapist. The Art Therapist offers a safe contained and supportive space in which to work through issues and concerns. For many clients it is easier to relate to the therapist through the art object which provides a focus for discussion and analysis. Art Therapy can be a very powerful process which may enable long buried feelings to come to the surface and be acknowledged.

No judgments are made on the quality of work produced. Everyone can make art and use it to explore their thoughts and feelings. Art Therapy can be used for clients who do not have the coordinating capacity to hold a crayon or brush. For such clients the emphasis is placed on activities using water, sand, or other materials that provide an avenue for communication. It is unlikely that the client will use every moment in the session for making art. The time of ‘not doing’ is equally important in Art Therapy sessions.

How is Art Therapy available?

  • Individual sessions (only in Cape Town)
  • Groups, Courses & Workshops (Cape Town and Jhb)
  • Corporate Teambuilding creatively in teams for corporate wellness

What materials are used?

I make use of a variety of materials like paint, pastels, clay, crayon, sand, charcoal, koki’s, different paper boards, containers etc. Each art material and process may evoke different feeling states and the work created often reflects the unconscious and experiences that shape a person’s life.

Who may benefit from Art Therapy?

Art Therapy is beneficial for adults and children of all ages. It provides an opportunity to get in touch with one’s inherent creativity, a quality that everyone has.

Client groups extend to: anxiety, depression, autism, ADHD, developmental delay, refugees, EBD, trauma victims, educators, correctional services, psychiatry, and the run of the mill regular ‘neurotics’!

What are the advantages of using Art in Therapy?

  • Art is a universal language that transcends language barriers and cultural differences.
  • Communication is a key aspect of therapy. Using art as a means of communication and self expression is less threatening than using only words and talking. Self expression is an essential ingredient in psycho-emotional development.
  • Using art may be an easier way to express emotions.
  • Provides an opportunity for adults to play ; a freedom that is often lost.
  • Provides an opportunity for children to play ; something that may be difficult especially if there is anxiety or the child has taken on adult responsibilities too early in life.
  • Re-engagement with an individual’s creative abilities – a process that encourages exploration and emotional growth.
  • Relaxation and spontaneity in being creative.
  • Active participation for absolutely everyone including physically disabled.
  • Confidence building, self-validation, realization of one’s potential.
  • Freedom to make decisions and experiment/test out ideas creatively.
  • Insight, self-awareness, self-reflection.
  • Ordering of experiences visually (creatively) and verbally.
  • Creative problem solving especially when something turns out ‘wrong’.

Therapy Fees

Art Therapy currently falls under the category of ‘single medium therapy’ with the HPCSA. After attendance of Art Therapy sessions, one can submit claims and get reimbursed by medical aid.

Comment from Past Participant

“Thank you for a very special experience. I did not know what to expect and was pleasantly surprised at the self awareness and learning that I experienced during the art therapy programme” (Vasintha, Corporate Facilitator)


Practice No : 067 000 0143162
HPCSA Reg No : AT 0000 469