Benefits of Art Therapy

Benefits of Art Therapy

What is Art therapy and what are its benefits? Let’s talk about art, its advantage, and how it can be a form of physical, mental, and emotional healing?

Definition And Other Facts

Art is not just a tool for the expression of one’s self,  Thus, the treatment is a popular type of psychotherapy that requires the expression of individuality through various forms of crafts for the goal of improving a person’s overall well-being. Achieving mental healing is one of the primary goals of therapy.

 

Art therapy is a specialized area of mental health that uses creative materials and creative process to explore emotions, reduce anxiety, increase self-esteem, and resolve psychological conflicts. — Douglas Mitchell, LMFT

Through the artistic process, people can freely communicate emotions that are difficult to verbalize or convey. Aside from that, one can also resolve personal issues while managing and developing feelings and behaviors, boosting self-esteem, and reducing stress and pressure.

symbols representing the benefits of art therapy
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The Beneficial Treatment Requirements

Art therapy requires one thing and one thing alone – for you to pour your deep thoughts and feelings on your creation. You are not necessarily required to have a creative background for as long as you can appropriately communicate yourself and allow treatment to heal you. With the vast array of creative materials and outlets available, there are a lot of ways to engage in treatment.

A person doing some flower arrangement which can be a form of therapy
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Recipients

Art therapy is not for everyone although it can be an option that anyone can consider. The world is brimming with multitudes of methods to express oneself, and the treatment is just one of them. The difference of this therapeutic approach, though, is that it’s mainly beneficial for those who are unable to openly and positively articulate what’s bottled up inside or those who are primarily incapable of speaking out loud due to certain limiting illnesses.

Therapists

Art therapists are professionals who are trained and experienced in both therapy and art. Therapists are insightful and are well-rounded in disciplines like theories of psychology, healing using artistic, spiritual, and multicultural traditions, and development. These experts utilize craftwork to assess, treat, research and supply information to allied medical professionals.

We all carry unexpressed emotions in our bodies and we even express it with phrases like “butterflies in my stomach” or “a pain in the neck.” We also use colors when talking about strong feelings: “red with rage,” “green with envy,” or “feeling blue.” — 

Why Art Therapy Is Beneficial

Art therapy is tagged as one of the most common treatment modalities especially when dealing with children because they have limited abilities to express their frustrations, anger, and ideations adequately. Adults who also have difficulty in efficiently airing out their grievances or sentiments highly benefit from it. That said, the other  benefits of the treatment are:

Benefits of Art Therapy

  1. Aside from being a treatment that is incredibly beneficial for expressing thoughts and feelings, it is also capable of promoting self-confidence.
  2. Contributes to the facilitation of positive perspectives about one’s life, making people realize things about themselves that are useful in dealing with daily struggles.
  3. Children are given a chance to explore emotions that are left unsaid or abandoned due to societal expectations and pressures.
  4. Engages the mind in improving skills in problem-solving and decision-making that can help in promoting a person’s self-reliance, self-sufficiency, and independence.
  5. After a stressful experience, it can constructively help individuals facilitate coping techniques in alleviating traumatic memories.
  6. Aside from coping mechanisms, it is also capable of scrutinizing and managing traumatic experiences.
  7. For children, it is a strategy to develop and promote gross and fine motor skills, speed and dexterity, and hand-eye coordination.

Art psychotherapy engages a person in nonverbal processes such as dreams, movement, sound, video, or mixed media, entering a client’s inner world where meaning was attached to events and where coping strategies have become fixed. — Barbara Mosinski, LCAT, ATR-BC, MA, MFA

A child doing some art using coloring pencils drawing an angel which is a form of therapy
Source: pexels.com

Notes On Art Therapy Benefits

Indeed, art is an excellent form of treatment that can aid in exploring one’s most profound emotions, managing addiction, and improving a person’s self-confidence and self-esteem. On the other hand, children can fully benefit from the treatment especially those who are struggling with developmental impairment. Besides, it is not just an expression, art is also a form of relaxation technique that not only calms the mind but the soul as well.