Art therapy awareness

New health medium makes waves

27 February 2020 | Art and Entertainment

Jan Joubert; Art Therapist; “We do not focus on art, but rather the expression.”

Swakopmund • [email protected]


Art Stop Swakopmund hosted art therapist Jan Joubert for a session on art therapy, which involves the use of creative techniques to help people express themselves and examine the psychological and emotional underliers in the art they create.

Joubert popped in on Tuesday and had conversations with the public on the topic.

“Art therapy is a new medical modality that is recognised by the Health Professionals Council of Namibia,” Joubert said.

According to him, art therapy creates shelter from an often cruel world.

“We often have to create a mask to be professional and function in the world, but art therapy creates a safe space to contain and hold your feelings. It allows for reflection and serves as a form of psychotherapy.”

However, he stressed the importance of background checks on therapists.

“There is currently one certified art therapist that works in Namibia. There are a few people who do a short course and consider themselves qualified. You need to know the difference.”

Joubert was born and bred in Swakopmund, but lives and works in Canada these days. He obtained his master’s degree in art therapy from the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute (KATI) in British Columbia, Canada.

He emphasised that art is not the end product of the exercise, but rather the medium.

“We do not focus on art, but rather the expression. It requires high sensitivity but low skill. Beautiful works of art is not the goal.”

Joubert said that contrary to popular belief, candidness is the end goal.

“We want patients to focus on creating something honest rather than something that is aesthetically pleasing.”

He also pointed out the difference between conventional therapy and art therapy.

“Talk therapy is advice-based. A therapist gives you advice on how to handle certain things. Art therapy is more centred around the concept of phenomenology.”

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