Over the last few years, art therapy has become increasingly popular. This is attributed to scientific research that proves its effectiveness in treating dementia, trauma, depression, and other mental conditions. This kind of therapy is not new as it has been used for many decades. Read on to know five essential facts about this form of therapy that has been used for many years.
- It is a form of expressive, creative therapy
The British Association of Art defines art therapy as a form of psychotherapy that utilizes art media as a primary channel of communication. It can also be described as a type of expressive therapy that utilizes the creative process of making art to enhance the mental, physical and emotional well-being of an individual. This means that art therapy is both a creative and expressive type of therapy used for treating different conditions.
- It is beneficial to many people
Studies show that different types of people from various age groups can benefit from art therapy. Children who have been abused, adults suffering from psychosis-related issues, and individuals suffering from anxiety, trauma, and depression can benefit immensely from this form of therapy. In addition, soldiers who have post-traumatic stress disorder can use this therapy to help them connect their sensory memories with their mental memories. It can also help them to open pathways between thoughts and feelings and resolve deep-rooted stress reactions. The elderly patients suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia can also get relief from disease symptoms with the help of art therapy.
- It has significant effects
Some patients may begin this therapy and end up discovering hidden talents for a specific media, for example, paint, chalk, textiles, or clay. Other individuals may just benefit from the sensory experience and get relief and healing in the process. Some patients can even express confusion, anger, fear, or other types of emotions, and a therapist can assist them in identifying these emotions in creative art and even talking about them. Individuals of different ages should learn about art therapy as it can help them to portray what they cannot convey with words.
- It is more than just drawing
Art therapy utilizes different types of media, for example, chalk, pencils, crayons, clay, thread, photography, textiles, paper, and many more. Some art therapists may even include dance elements and music in their therapy sessions. All these types of media are crucial in the therapy sessions and they can help patients to express themselves and find healing in the process.
- Art therapy is not specifically for creative minds
Art therapy is not meant for the creative type of artists alone. It mainly involves sensory experience, which is the process of linking emotion and thought with movement. With the simplest line of drawing, mixed media creation, or clay formation, your therapists can tell what you are feeling or who you are. Each piece of art that the patients make has significant value and the therapy sessions are never a competition. Some therapists may give out different art media for the participants to choose what appeals to them, or they can use one media for everyone in the class.
If you want to experience art therapy, it is important that you find a good clinic with experienced professionals. You need experts who are friendly, and who will take you through the art therapy sessions to ensure that you get the benefits that you need from this treatment. With the right professionals, you will enjoy maximum mental health and other benefits of art therapy.