Art Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that employs the medium of art as its main method of communication. Patients are spurred into expressing their emotions through a piece of art, be it a sculpture, a painting, or simply a drawing.
Although art itself has always been a medium for people to express their feelings, Art Therapy only began to formalise around the 20th century. More recently, it has become increasingly popular and has been recognised as extremely useful in treating traumatic suffering, stress, as well as social problems.
How Does It Work?
According to Art Therapists, patients heal by being creative. Producing a piece of art fuels self-development, personal growth, and self-confidence – which are very important factors which aid in recovery.
Art Therapy combines psychotherapeutic methods with the creative process in order to improve mental health. It is also a great distraction from the everyday troubles that patients might go through.
What Does It Involve?
Sessions last between 30 and 60 minutes and can happen in small groups. Therapists encourage their patients to explore their feelings through different art materials. Self-expression is the aim, so there is no need to formally learn how to draw or paint.
The workshops take place in a safe environment, where the patients develop a trusting relationship with their psychotherapist and slowly let go of the emotions that crowd the brain. It can take up to a few months to complete a full course of therapy and the patient might also be asked to create some artwork at home in between sessions.
When Is It Used?
Art Therapy has been used in schools, hospitals, prisons and elderly care homes. It can help people by simply cultivating their self-esteem and spurring their self-development. It can be key in treating a number of mental issues.
Art Therapy can help children with learning disabilities, people suffering from brain injury, or individuals with behavioural problems. Depending on how serious the issue in question is, the benefits of this form of physiotherapy are comparable with other techniques such as group therapy.
Why Is Art Therapy So Important?
Art Therapy is a great way to relieve stress, ease traumatic suffering, and treat emotional instability. It is now used to help cancer patients to cope with their state of mind as well as physical pain.
This form of psychotherapy is also effective in treating mental distress in people dealing with drugs or alcohol recovery. It can also help with social problems as it can be used in prisons to help inmates to deal with their past mistakes and getting ready to start a new life after their release. Consequently, Art Therapy is of great importance to the general society.
If you would like to try Art Therapy in order to help yourself or a loved one combat the daily stresses of life, why not visit your local Art Gallery. It might be exactly what you need to help you unlock your creativity and find some inspiration.
Have you tried art therapy, even just for fun? And can you think of any other benefits it might bring? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Elena Manighetti is a blogger who writes about a variety of topics including lifestyle, technology, and interior design. She writes for Art Gallery.