Basics of Art Therapy and How It Works
Art is the creative application of the human imagination. Art Therapy is an expressive form of therapy that is used to improve a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This post is designed to tell you a little bit about the basics of Art Therapy and how it works.
What is Art Therapy?
Art Therapy is the process of healing and transforming life challenges using art making processes; utilising creative expression for therapeutic purposes. Art Therapy combines traditional psychotherapeutic techniques with the psychological aspects of a person’s creative mind. Using different materials such as paints, chalk, clay, crayons and pencils, a person can create artworks that explore cognitive functions, personal experiences physical symptoms and past events. Art Therapy is not about the result, it’s about the process and the self-awareness that is gained during the process. This awareness can then be integrated, and clients are able to experience more control, wellness and positive meaning in life.
How Art Therapy works?
The creation of art is a therapeutic process. Just like physiotherapy works on the muscles, joints and bones of a human body, Art therapy is a process which works on the psychological aspects and nervous system of the human body. As we grow and mature, our lives become filled with positive and negative experiences, emotions and feelings. As people grow up, they can become less expressive, conforming to perceived social expectations and ignoring intuition. This can lead to mental health challenges ranging from mild anxiety to more chronic mental health disorders.
Art Therapy provides an outlet for expression and unlocks feelings and emotions that may have been unresolved or integrated within ourselves. These may include negative emotions, such as fear, shock or grief, as well as positive emotions such as joy, passion and pride. When a person begins Art Therapy they are processing innate senses, experiences and memories. Each colour, stroke, brush size, pattern and shade reveals something meaningful. An art therapist will help you find the meaning contained in your art and help you become conscious of the emotions within yourself.
Art Therapy is not about creating a masterpiece, it’s about the journey towards creating something which reflects your innermost feelings. With the right guidance from an art therapist, Art Therapy has the power to heal traumatic experiences and psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety, phobias and PTSD by building on positive strengths, personal resilience and resourcefulness.