Art Therapy encourages self-expression, self-discovery and emotional growth; for these reasons, it has been used in the treatment of mental illness for almost 100 years, becoming common in the United States in the 20th century. As a form of psychotherapy, art therapy often involves both the creation of art and the discovery of its meaning. Milieu therapies focus on putting the patient in a therapeutic social setting with opportunities to develop self-confidence and interact with others in a positive way.
Individuals are encouraged to visualize, and then create the thoughts and emotions that they cannot talk about. For some people with mental illness or disabilities, the creative art process becomes the therapy.

Art Therapy at The Cottages is a multi-level therapeutic program wrapped around therapeutic expressive art sessions (on-site), Hospital Art (not-for-profit volunteer outreach) and Creekside Lavender (a Cottages “Work Program” which includes the production of candles, soaps, sachets and other lavender products).

Residents participating in the Lavender Work Program have the ability to express themselves through color and design choices in the development of lavender products.