Art therapy is rapidly growing in popularity, thanks in part to studies detailing its effectiveness as a treatment method for depression, anxiety, dementia, trauma, and a host of other conditions. Today we’re sharing five important facts you should know about art therapy and its benefits for improved mental health.
- Art therapy can help many different types of people. Research indicates that elderly patients who are suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia enjoy improved communication, relief from symptoms, and a calmer spirit after taking part in art therapy. It can also help soldiers suffering from the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, children who have been abused and people who are dealing with anxiety, depression, or trauma.
- It’s a type of expressive therapy. Art therapy is a kind of psychotherapy that utilizes art media as its primary manner of communication. It uses the creative process of making art to enhance a person’s mental, emotional and physical well-being.
- It has widespread effects. When some people start art therapy they discover a hidden talent for a particular type of media. Others simply enjoy the sensory experience and find relief and healing in the process. Art therapy is particularly valuable in helping people of all ages express what they cannot articulate with their words.
- You don’t have to be a “creative” type to benefit from art therapy. With art therapy, it’s all about the sensory experience, connecting emotion and thought with movement. It’s okay if you aren’t an artsy type – the simplest clay formation, line drawing, or mixed media handiwork is important because it represents who you are and what you’re feeling. It isn’t a competition – and there are no winners – every piece of art has value.
- Art therapy extends beyond drawing. Art therapy involves an assortment of media, such as paint, chalk, clay, pencils, crayons, paper, thread, textiles, and photography, to name just a few. Some art therapists also enhance their sessions with the use of music and dance.
It takes courage to face uncomfortable feelings, to accept that you have needs and to honor them, but most of all it takes courage to ask for help. If you’re interested in learning more about how art therapy can benefit you – take that first step – contact our office today to schedule a consultation. Together we can help you find healing and closure.