What Is Art Therapy? Most forms of therapy are centered on verbal communication. Art therapy, however, breaks that mold and introduces a more creative means of both communicating ideas and learning to grow. The American Art Therapy Association defines art therapy as: Art therapy is a mental health profession in which clients, facilitated by the art therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem. A goal in art therapy is to improve or restore a client’s functioning and his or her sense of personal well-being.
Art therapy not only allows adolescents to express themselves creatively, it also demonstrates the client’s defensive mechanisms, which will then show the therapist how to investigate the issue and how to help approach and understand the patient (Linesch). This is very important in terms of recovery. It is demostrated that, “making art appeared to enhance a positive attitude in patients and to give them feelings of power, control and freedom” (Luginbuehl-Oelhafen 178). From a professional artist perspective who also has a degree in childhood education, Rebecca Conner agrees that creating art is therapeutic. She describes her experience in art by stating, “When I’m in art I forget everything else, it is all about the creative process.” Working with youth and students, she has experienced and seen the effects of art’s therapeutic influences.
One of the most loved and universal ways of expression is art. Many say that art is therapeutic and soothing, but why do these people say this? Furthermore, why is art therapy beneficial to the brain? What is the reasoning behind art and its potential healing for those who use it as a way of coping with a mental illness? Art therapy is more than just drawing what one feels; it is a way to use a remedial activity as an aid in diagnosing.
Sometime clients may also need to be able to just stop to experience what they are feeling rather than over thinking and explaining their life. Art therapy techniques can elevate such obstacles in chemical dependency treatment for clients. Art therapy has many benefits for clients and counselors. Art can be an alternative path for communications. When a client are not able to connect to others or in the traditional sense talk about what is going on, art mediums can offer a way make a connection to the group and/or counselor by expressing themselves in a different manner (Bryant, 2011).
“Art therapy is a form of therapy in making of visual images (paintings, drawings, models etc.) in the presences of a qualified art therapist contributes towards externalization of thoughts and feelings which may otherwise remain unexpressed”(Walter & Gilory, 1992). My vision of Art Therapy was very vague. I always thought art therapy was a form of therapy for distressed or abused children trying to tell a story through pictures or drawings. The American Art Therapy Association defines art therapy as a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental, and emotional well being of individuals of all ages.
Art Therapy is said to help in a creative process that a person goes through in which they can find "inner guidance" and find "self-healing" at a conscious level. Art Therapy can be expressed through storytelling, poetry, music, dance, visual arts, painting, sculpture, and any other type of creativity activity. Many Art Therapists believe that there is growing a stronger connection between art and healing and believe that Art Therapy is significant to a person's health. Art Therapy was originally a part of the term "Expressive Therapy" and therefore categorized in a broad spectrum. During the age of Expr...
Art therapy allows feelings to be expressed through art. Like regular therapy, art therapy might not be for everyone. Art therapy uses both artistic and therapeutic techniques to provide clients with a way to express themselves through their work. Art therapy is used in many places and provides benefits for those who participate. It is important to implement art therapy into everyday life because it will allow one to find themselves.
Therapy is by definition intended to heal or amend a certain disorder. Commonly people use therapy to relieve stress. Therapy helps people make beneficial adjustments in life and solve many of their everyday problems or issues. There are many different types of therapy to choose from. People can choose a therapy most appealing to him or her in order to benefit from it best.
To be able to understand this healing process better, it is important to comprehend what art therapy is. Although the title might be misconstrued and hard to define, art therapy is used in many practices to benefit mental and physical rehabilitation. Even though the professional view in art therapy is new, the thought of using art therapy as an alternative healing method is old (Malchiodi 978). Namburg defines art therapy by claiming how it “bases its methods on releasing the unconscious by means of spontaneous art expression…”(qtd. in Ulman 40.1).
This technique is useful in the treatment of couples, individuals, and families and helps uncover the underlying reasons for symptomatic behaviors and emotions. Because they are taught to recognize and identify their own personal symptoms and issues, as well as given tools to essentially treat and/or heal themselves, clients are a direct and essential part of their own healing process. The client ultimately develops and creates their own highly personalized therapy. This approach leads to greater client empowerment, inner-knowledge, and further success in any future situations that may have once caused enormous difficulty. For clients, holistic therapy becomes a life-long process of tuning into and listening to their bodies, on all levels, and identifying what it is they need.