What is and who benefits from art therapy?
Art therapy provides the clients a chance to perceive, express themselves, and communicate effectively during a secure therapeutic session with the therapist. This can be held as one-to-one sessions, or as group sessions. Both as equally beneficial. This is often practiced in educational institutes, psychiatric wards, art psychotherapy, self-development groups, nursing homes, rehabilitation programs, prisons, and many other places which require psychological counseling.
Also, the sort of therapy also digs deep into the subconscious of each individual. The world that surrounds us is a reservoir of innovation, individuality, and power, but sometimes can also feel that it is a container of negativity. Art therapy utilizes various art forms to release the immense amount of negativity and communicates with the subconscious to stimulate an abundance of growth and positivity.
The practice of Art Therapy has been newly-born in the world of psychotherapy. The practice has been introduced at the appropriate time for people who are lonely, lost, and battling various sources of misery in this materialistic world. A world where genuine relationships are seldom found.
The British Association of Art Therapists states; “Art therapy is utilized to overcome physical, emotional and learning disabilities, neurological conditions, and other types of conditions and illnesses.” The American Art Therapy Association defines this as a taxonomic process by which people increase self-awareness, strength, confidence, and cognitive abilities to battle suppressed stress and trauma. The most used art theme is abstract, and especially abstract paintings.
Courses and Degrees:
If you do not wish to complete schooling to be a certified therapist, there are still multiple Art Therapy courses offered to benefit from;
- Art Therapy Foundations
- Understanding & Working with Images
- Art Therapy & Self Image
- Group Art Therapy
- Art Therapy & The Creative Process
- Trauma Treatment
- Materials & Projects
To become certified in the position, you must attend proper schooling. The courses you should expect include the courses listed above. Options of an Undergraduate Degree and Master's degree are provided.
The following definitions can be comprehended only by a practitioner, not by the layman who is hurt and desperately seeking solutions. Evidence of how Art Therapy can help overcome depression can be understood and analyzed if the client takes their emotional journey into consideration when viewing art. Some of them are:
- Enhanced Concentration:
If you have ever witnessed an artist at work, you would see them with pursed lips, intensely focused eyes, and wrinkled brows. However, these are not signs of stress, but of intense concentration being the artist has drowned in their own individual world of creativity. This type of therapy encourages the sort of emotion formed from creativity by relieving your mind of the sadness and fear, at least for a short time. A short time that will have long-lasting effects if it continues to be pursued. Following these moments of creativity and a relaxed mind, you emerge fresh and happy. You will be refreshed with focused thoughts, which will help the client push through situations that seem helpless efficaciously.
- Improved Flow:
The calming after-effects of Art Therapy can be observed in an individual’s behavior. This is promoted by encouraging people to release themselves into their own thoughts in order to make something unique and beautiful. This effect is known as "being in flow, " all of the relevant activities leaves the client de-stressed.
- Self Development:
Therapy is not only about just painting on a canvas or making masks. It is a profound and fulfilling hobby that allows people to express their thoughts, feelings, and desire to feel better. Psychotherapists claim that having a hobby makes your life a hundred times enjoyable, especially if you are saddled with worries and stress.
Who Benefits From Art Therapy?
It has benefits for all ages. It is the idea of self-exploration that stimulates the individual's creativity. Even without the aid of therapy, self-expression is beneficial for the mind and soul.
Art Therapy for Adults: As people age, every aspect of work or expression seems to be judged. Creativity in each individual seems to become oppressed. Once there is a loss of interest in creative outlets, people tend to look for other outlets to tend to their conditions and mental illnesses. The outlets that many turn to being incredibly unhealthy, for they are only suppressing their emotion more. When trying to figure out the source to these feelings, the option of talking about it can be more of an obstacle for the client than it is for others. The Art Therapy helps the adult circle back around to their creative outlets, bringing back the feeling of self-expression that seems to cure them during each session. The adult no longer feels judged, oppressed, stressed, or depressed in those moments of relief.
Art Therapy for Children: The importance of Art Therapy is extremely beneficial for children with emotional issues, or children dealing with trauma. Children with emotional conditions find it easy to express themselves through their art, because art comes into play naturally. Group therapy sessions also benefit them, presenting to the children that they are not alone on their journey. The self-discovery that Art Therapy provides is to encourage children to explore themselves, and take care of themselves at an early, developmental stage.
What are the Benefits?
It is an effective mode of visual communication. Sometimes people who do not, or feel like they can not talk about their dark experiences find it easier to convey the message on paper, at their own pace. Even though the communication is not verbal, Therapy allows the client to express themselves within art as their own form of communication. This is also an excellent form of communication for highly articulate people and children who have speech or learning disabilities.
Another benefit is that it automatically records the healing process, unlike other therapeutic approaches and provides a tangible record. Images registered on paper have more real thoughts and raw ideas embedded into them, which can be shared with others or saved for review. Looking back to old artworks is similar to being able to physically document the client's own life through the individual's own art.
The process of making art within Art Therapy can also be beneficial by making the client feel empowered, showing them that they are capable, and have more strengths than they had thought they have had before. It combines self-exploration with fun and artistic approach to make people feel more “in awe” at with their own creativity. Any form of art: literature, music, dancing or drama paves the way to the deepest forms of self-healing.
There’s indeed no doubt that creating art is therapeutic!