The relationship between the brain, creativity, and our mental health continues to evolve, and art therapy is now being applied in various aspects of our life. Art therapy is a multifaceted field, where art can help us in a variety of ways in understanding and in therapy
Art therapy is defined as “a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary mode of expression and communication”. It essentially means engrossing the mind and assisting in the release of creative energy, which aids in the patient's therapeutic healing
Art therapy is usually considered mind-body psychotherapy, which engages the mind, body, and spirit in a way that is not possible by verbal communication. They are designed to facilitate the mind's capacity to influence bodily connections and symptoms. It helps people find a new pathway toward expressing their feelings and opening up about their views and can be used to cultivate resilience and enhance social skills.
Science has shown that creative expression reduces stress and promotes a good mood, and the patients aren't supposed to have experience or skills in the field of art to experience this. This usually take place in clinical settings and hospitals to aid therapy and treatment and enhance communication in a nonverbal way.
Art therapy has been successfully used for patients with mental disorders and has shown a significant decrease in reducing symptoms. It can be used for people who have experienced trauma, and people with conditions such as depression, dementia, schizophrenia, cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease. Several techniques make up art therapy
5 TYPES OF ART THERAPY
- Painting- Drawings and paintings have long been regarded as the most beneficial component of therapy processes in the psychiatric and psychological fields. Therapists use this as a means of expression as drawing broadens an individual's experience of expression and helps resolve conflicts, manage interpersonal skills and increase self-esteem and awareness. Activities may include stress painting, an emotional wheel, and making a postcard you will never sell.
Textile- Textile handcrafting comes with therapeutic benefits allowing women to channel their inner spirit and boost their psychological experience as a means of therapy to express several beneficial feelings that imbue relaxation and well-being. These creative pursuits help reduce anxiety and negative thoughts and improve the overall sense of purpose. It also helps maintain mental agility since the textile needs a lot of concentration and seeks to create strong, resilient, flexible minds.
Photography- Photography has been increasingly used by therapists in the recovery process since it plays an important role in reliance building, through positive creative exercises. Like others, it uses photos for the purpose of personal growth and healing and it is based on prompting reflection and conversation around feelings and memories, being able to articulate them, and then come to terms with them. It often reflects the past since each picture has a particular narrative, memory, or experience attached to it. This narrative restoration may help the recovery process of individuals. This can be done when a person themselves captures shots and is a self-conducted form of therapy. Otherwise, in therapeutic settings, images shot by other people are used which help a person express emotions that are otherwise hard to express.
Writing— Writing is considered an expressive art therapy, which involves writing down one's honest thoughts and feelings about a real experience. This therapy takes place in various forms, such as free writing, journaling, note-taking, and even poetry. This promotes self-understanding and insight and it provides a tool and process for continual self-care, self-development, and self-supervision as part of one’s reflective practice. Painting and drawing are often combined in therapeutic settings since it is often hard for people to verbally express themselves, this brings the synergistic benefits of both visual and verbal forms of expression
- Sculpture therapy -Sculpture therapy is usually done in a private family setting and involves family members making statues of each other, and especially married couple, or parents and their children attending these workshops together. The prompts are often open-ended so that each person can express their creativity and personality and this activity enhances well-being, accomplishment, and teamwork and helps them get in touch with their cognitive and emotional potential. It is also excellent to help people improve their corporeal memory. It is a tactile art form and is mostly used for dementia patients.
A WORD FROM SOCIALLY SOULED
In general, studies of mind-body interventions (including art therapy), while promising, have had some major shortcomings. However, this field is currently developing and many people are turning to new hobbies and crafts to deal with their stress.
Join our Art Therapy Certificate Course to learn more about Art Therapy and incorporate it in your daily life!