What is art therapy and what are its benefits? Let’s talk about the art therapy benefits and how it can be a form of physical, mental, and emotional healing.
Therapy Definition And Other Facts
Art is not just a tool for the expression of one’s self. Artistic therapy is a popular type of therapy that requires the expression of individuality through various forms of art with the goal of improving the person’s overall well-being. Achieving mental healing is one of the primary benefits of art 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 in the therapy, people can freely communicate emotions that are difficult to verbalize or convey on their own. Aside from that, the individual can also resolve their personal issues while managing their feelings, boosting self-esteem, and reducing stress and pressure.
Art Therapy Benefits
The Beneficial Treatment Requirements
Art therapy requires one thing – for you to articulate your deep thoughts and feelings on your art. You are not required to have an artistic background as long as you can communicate yourself and allow the art therapy to heal you. With the vast array of arts and creative materials and outlets available, there are many ways to reap the benefits of the therapy.
Art therapy is not for everyone although it can benefit anyone who tries it. 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.
Art therapists are professionals who are trained and experienced in both therapy and art. These therapists are insightful and are well-rounded in disciplines like theories of psychology and healing using artistic, spiritual, and multicultural traditions. They utilize artwork to assess, treat, research and supply information to allied medical professionals.
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. Adults who also have difficulty in efficiently airing out their grievances or sentiments highly benefit from it. That said, the other benefits of art therapy are:
- Aside from being a treatment that is incredibly beneficial for expressing thoughts and feelings, art therapy can promote self-confidence.
- Contributes to the facilitation of positive perspectives about one’s life.
- Children are given a chance to explore emotions they have left unsaid due to societal expectations and pressures.
- Engages the mind in improving skills in problem-solving and decision-making that can benefit a person’s self-reliance, self-sufficiency, and independence.
- After a stressful experience, art can constructively help individuals facilitate coping techniques in alleviating traumatic memories.
- Aside from coping mechanisms, it is also capable of scrutinizing and managing traumatic experiences.
- 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
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, art is not just an expression; art is also a form of relaxation technique that not only calms the mind but the soul as well.