The Wonders Of Art Therapy
Art is not just an expression of oneself, but a form of physical, mental, and emotional healing.
Art therapy is a popular type of psychotherapy that requires 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 art therapy.
Art therapy is a specialized area of mental health that uses art materials and the creative process to explore emotions, reduce anxiety, increase self-esteem, and resolve other 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.
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 the therapy to heal you. With the vast array of creative materials and outlets available, there are a lot of ways to engage in art therapy.
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 art therapy 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. 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 art 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.” —
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 art therapy. That said, the other advantages of art therapy are:
- Aside from being a therapy that is incredibly useful for expressing thoughts and feelings, art therapy is also capable of promoting self-confidence.
- Art therapy 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.
- Children are given a chance to explore emotions that are left unsaid or abandoned due to societal expectations and pressures.
- Art therapy 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.
- After a stressful experience, art therapy can help in constructively helping individuals facilitate coping techniques in alleviating traumatic memories.
- Aside from coping mechanisms, art therapy is also capable of scrutinizing and managing the traumatic experiences.
- For children, art therapy 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, art making, movement, sound, video, or mixed media with the goal of 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 therapy 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 art especially those who are struggling with developmental impairment. Besides, art is not just an expression, but it is also a form of relaxation technique that not only calms the mind but the soul as well.