Art has always been an expression of oneself. With the goal of helping those with mental health problems, it should come as no surprise that art has become a therapeutic tool. Art therapy has helped all generations develop their creative side as they explore what ails them. Utilizing creative processes also helps those seeking to improve their well-being, self-confidence, and social skills. Beyond the mere coloring between the lines, art therapy offers something for everyone, through thick and thin.
According to the American Art Therapy Association,
“Art therapy is an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art creation, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship “.
This shows how art therapy has evolved, fusing artistic techniques with psychological concepts.
Although artistic expression has centuries of examples, art therapy is actually a relatively new field. In 1942, a British artist named Adrian Hill He pointed out that it was art that helped him not only recover from tuberculosis. In fact, it kept his emotions from overwhelming him.
The current profession began in 1915 with the Mother of Art Therapy, Margaret Naumburg, when she founded the Walden School in New York that promoted artistic freedoms in children. Today, counselors use art therapy to resolve situations, from domestic violence shelters to skilled nursing facilities. All of these counselors strive to facilitate healing.
Types of art therapy
Perhaps the basic principle behind art therapy is that you don’t have to be gifted. That’s because there is no right or wrong way to express yourself artistically. Individuals can use whichever technique they are most comfortable with. Fortunately, there are a few to choose from.
Oil, acrylics, or watercolors offer people the ability to express themselves with a brush and any canvas of their choice. While this freeform is relaxing, professionals are wary of those who struggle with perfectionism and low self-confidence, as controlling paint is much more difficult than a simple crayon.
With so many drawing utensils and papers, drawing is a preferred option for art therapists with clients who have cognitive or motor difficulties. Certified art therapists know how to match a drawing of a person with a specific mental health disorder. While not the primary diagnostic tool, this ability provides clinicians with valuable information about an individual’s thought processes and emotions.
By manipulating already constructed elements, materials such as photographs and magazine images, the individual can glimpse his mind. Those who participate learn to use creativity outside of therapeutic settings. It can help people visualize their goals as jobs they want, signs of spiritual awakening, or where they see themselves in the future.
Creative expression it’s not just limited to colors. Journaling, writing letters, or simply telling a story on paper are ways to help trauma survivors put their thoughts into words. Writing also helps people to capture their feelings of the moment or, once again, to be used for the achievement of objectives. People can also mix drawing or painting with writing to develop a masterpiece that helps their well-being.
There are other techniques such as sculpture or photography. And truly, no artistic expression is off the table for you to use.
Whether you are using artistic expression to help in difficult times or trying to envision your future, art is working in places where you may not think it could. Here’s how harnessing the power of creativity helps people heal:
- Improvement of cognitive processes, including critical thinking and memory.
- Promote understanding, especially with overcoming problems or achieving goals.
- Build emotional resilience through self-improvement, helping them adapt to stressful events.
- Reduce conflict by expressing negative emotions.
- Enhance the self-esteem and self-awareness of the individual.
The future of art therapy and the use of artistic creation brings with it endless possibilities. No matter where you are in this world right now expressing your feelings positively, Hopes and dreams can help you live your best life!