What is art therapy? And who can benefit? February 6, 2019
What Is Art Therapy?
Art therapy is also known as an expressive therapy. This sort of therapy uses art as a means of communication and lets people express and explore their thoughts and emotions. You do not even need to be very artistic or creatively talented to take part in this therapy.
Art can be used in a number of ways from digital and photography to collages. Painting has also proven to be very helpful as a therapy tool. Art therapy can help anyone from kids to seniors no matter the background or challenges.
Art therapy can be great for a number of people and is perfect for all ages due to its versatility. Art Therapy can also be great if you have not had luck with verbal therapy and would like to try something new. It can also help open up emotions you may be pushing back or not reflecting on, forcing you to notice them and try and work on them.
Art Therapy could be a great outlet for the following groups of people:
- Those with mental health problems. It has been recommended by certain institutes that art therapy can benefit those with schizophrenia and other related conditions.
- Those with learning difficulties. Art Therapy can be great for people with learning difficulties who may find it hard to verbalize their feelings.
- Those with dementia. When you are using the creative part of your brain this can help with stress levels and restore a sense of personal identity, which those with dementia may be finding hard to keep.
- Those on the autistic spectrum. Creative art can help to distract and calm people down, as well as help improve communication skills.
- Those in the justice system. Prisoners are often asked use art therapy to help with their feelings in a healthy way.
- Those with a chronic/terminal illness. As mentioned before, art therapy can help with expressing feelings and it can also help patients to regain their sense of control and freedom.
- Those who find it difficult to express their feelings. People who find this hard can use art therapy to show their emotions without too much verbal communication.
These are just some of the different types of art therapy.
This art therapy technique is probably the most limitless. Painting can give you a great sense of freedom, being able to paint whatever you want.
For example, you can explore your emotions and draw whatever comes to your mind, expressing your emotions and your creative side.
Collaging is where you cut and stick pictures that inspire you or express your emotions and put them all together. This can really give you a great sense of freedom and can help you to explore your creative side without having to paint or draw.
It is your own personal art, but through collecting others pictures that best express how you feel.
Collaging is also very similar to making a vision board, which is where you make a collage of your dream life and goals.
3. Digital Art
This has been said to help children, who are used to computers and phones, and made expressing their art easier for them. It also helps that the possibilities are almost endless when using digital software too, helping you express your emotions even further.
For those who maybe are not as keen on drawing and painting as others, photography can be a great outlet.
Most smartphones have up-to-date, HD cameras built in! Make use of the technology you have or research into investing in a more professional camera.
You can take pictures of so many different things, such as, things you are thankful for, people who you love, or just things that you find beautiful and pleasing. Combine this idea with collaging! Print out your photographs and use them on your vision board.
Using textiles in art therapy can be when you either use them as toys and puppets or if you have physical difficulties with using art suppliers due to motor skills, for example.Using textiles can also offer softness which can help to provide comfort for you. This can be a great way to express yourself.