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What is Art Therapy?

Art is one of the most powerful and oldest means of communication. Visual expression and art making are widely acknowledged as safe ways to express thoughts and feelings that may be too difficult to put into words. Art making has been increasingly incorporated into psychotherapy and counseling not only because it serves as another language, but also because of its’ inherent ability to allow people to explore their emotions, reduce stress, build identity and self-esteem, resolve conflicts, and enhance physical and psychological well-being.

Art therapy is a type of psychotherapy that uses a variety of art mediums, the art making and creative process, images, and the client’s responses to their art products as reflections of their personality, interpersonal conflicts, development, abilities, concerns, desires, and interests. The practice of art therapy hinges on psychological theories and human development which are implemented in the treatment and assessment process to foster self-awareness and reality orientation, manage behavior, resolve emotional conflicts and problems, build self-esteem, and develop autonomy and social skills. Visual art mediums, the art making process, and the resulting work, act together as a vehicle where underlying conflicts may be brought to the surface so that they can be recognized and transformed. Art therapy serves as a backdoor entrance into the unconscious world of an individual and is also a cathartic and empowering experience.

Art therapy is practiced within a variety of settings including, mental health units, medical centers, prisons, rehabilitation centers, and schools.

Art Therapy at RHAS

Art Therapy at Richmond Hill Art School is provided by art therapist Francesca Scaini. Francesca received her master’s degree at New York University where the guiding theoretical orientation is psychoanalytic encompassing post Freudian ego psychology, object relations, self-psychology, and intersubjective psychology. Francesca’s training also involved empirically based developments, particularly attachment theory and trauma research. She has provided art therapy to a variety of populations including: psychiatric patients; refugees; individuals with developmental disabilities; individuals affected by abuse; and LGBTQ. Francesca uses a psychodynamic approach in treatment that is client-led and non-directive based. Francesca will be providing both private individual and group sessions at RHAS.

Booking Sessions:

Your first intake session is FREE. After the initial intake session, it is ideal to book sessions in
blocks of 7 as this time frame allows me to create an appropriate treatment plan. The 7
sessions may occur over the span of 7-21 weeks. This time frame will ensure that we are
making progress and gives us the opportunity to plan and reevaluate your treatment goals. A
typical session may last from 1-2 hours depending on the case and number of
children/adolescents.

Office Space/Home/School Visits:

I am currently located at RHAS, but I am also making home and school visits in York Region and
Toronto areas. I am currently offering art therapy sessions throughout the week on Monday-
Friday at (but not limited to) RHAS. Please contact me if you would like more information about
the times I have available.

Sliding Scale:

Your first session is FREE. I understand that therapy can be expensive, but please know that I
am invested in your child’s healing! If you are concerned that you may not be able to afford art
therapy, you may request a sliding scale as a discount. You and I will decide on a fee that is
suitable after your initial intake for your ongoing treatment. I may require additional
information regarding your financial situation to make an informed decision.

Rates:

– 1 hour individual art therapy session: $85-$160
– 1 hour family or 2-3 children: $90-$180
– 1 hour group: $30/person
Payment can be made by cheque, cash, e-mail transfer, or credit card (+2.75%)

Cancellation Policy:

Please note that I require 24 hours of notice if you need to cancel. The cancellation fee will be
50% of the session fee.

Contact information:

Please contact me to book a free consultation or if you would like any additional information
regarding sessions and fees! I can be reached by email or phone:
francesca@richmondhillartschool.com
(416) 407-0334

Who is suitable for art therapy?


  • Students who are experiencing anxiety
  • Students displaying low self-esteem
  • Students disrupting the class
  • Students with aggressive tendencies
  • Students suffering with loss or separation
  • Students struggling with depression
  • Students faced with trauma
  • Students struggling with divorce
  • Students struggling with domestic threats to safety
  • Students who have recently emigrated
  • Students who are suspected victims of abuse
  • Students who are struggling with eating disorders
  • Students with poor body image
  • Students who are at risk for substance abuse