It is a form of psychotherapy involving the encouragement of free self-expression through painting, drawing, or modelling, used as a remedial or diagnostic activity.
Art therapy is the therapeutic use of art making, within a professional relationship, by people who experience illness, trauma or challenges in living, and by people who seek personal development. Through creating art and reflecting on the art products and processes, people can increase awareness of self and others, cope with symptoms, stress and traumatic experiences; enhance cognitive abilities; and enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of making art.
Art: A Wonderful Form of Therapy
Expressive art therapy is the use of creative arts as a form of therapy and is a fantastic field that has proven to work wonders in many people’s lives. It can help someone express themselves, explore their emotions, manage addictions, and improve their self-esteem. It really helps children with developmental disabilities, however; art therapy is awesome because it can help anyone!
Have you ever noticed how much music, or doing an activity like drawing relaxes you after a long day? That is because it is very therapeutic. If you see a professional art therapist, they can help you interpret the feelings that pour into your design, and even help work through and resolve problems. Studies have also proven that colouring, even as an adult, has tremendous benefits. Unfortunately, colouring, drawing, painting, and playing music is very taboo in the adult world. Break away from that social expectation, and see how freeing it is to let your creativity flow.
Music, art, and dance are the main expressions for this variety of therapy. Music therapy can be a mix of playing instruments, listening to music, and singing. Dance therapy utilizes dance and movement. It makes sense that it is so effective–lots of endorphins are released into your body when you shake it! Art therapy can be a mixture of drawing, colouring, painting, sculpting and pretty much everything else you can think of that is artistic. These are all things people love to do as hobbies, so why not use it to better yourself and show yourself some love?
Besides helping someone better their emotional being, art therapy is great for many other things. It can help general illness. Art is a fabulous escape from feeling icky. Art therapy can help someone who has a cancer diagnosis. Battling cancer takes both a very physical and emotional toll, and is even a struggle accepting the diagnosis. Art and dance are powerful expressions of these emotions, and can help relieve a lot of stress, anger, and sadness. Someone in need of therapy to have some relief after a disaster would also be an excellent candidate for artistic therapy.
There are so many uses and benefits to expressive arts therapies, that can help drastically improve people’s lives for a plethora of reasons. Even if you don’t need serious help, it can be a great way to release stress after a long work week. Art therapy is a growing field that is being more widely accepted, so it is also an opportunity as a career field! Be bold, be creative, and be expressive and give art therapy a try!