A Guide To Art Therapy And Its Benefits

Art is a relaxing and productive activity to engage in during your free time. However, did you know it can be beneficial to your mental health as well? The combination of mental health and art is known as art therapy. In simple words, art is used to express, explore, identify, and resolve mental health concerns.

Art therapy uses art as a therapeutic technique to encourage introspection and insight. It is a scientific process that employs psychological theory in the creation of art. Although it might seem plain and simple, art therapy uses the creative process of art to facilitate emotional growth and healing. Art helps to bring to paper the inner picture and mental state of the participant.

Art therapy is not restricted to the medium of art. It can range from sketching to drawing, painting, and colouring, depending on the needs and expertise of the therapist. Art therapy is for people of all ages. It offers a creative outlet, regardless of concerns or artistic abilities.

Here are a few benefits of art therapy.

  1. Cope with mental health concerns
    The global population that is affected by mental health concerns is 1 in every 8 people, which is almost 1 billion people in the world. Clinical therapy and medications are the most effective and common methods of treatment. However, art therapy is a non-invasive and non-pharmacological technique to relieve the symptoms.
    Research and studies show significant effects of art therapy and improvements in mental health conditions. Art therapy helps to reduce depressive symptoms and promote enhanced social functioning. It also helps to project anxieties, fears, and phobias. This projection and externalisation allow for the recognition of these root problems and their creative expression.
  2. Emotional release and expression
    The canvas is a blank and safe space for expressing emotions freely. The process creates a snowball effect to release suppressed emotions, unconscious thoughts, and past trauma. It helps to make sense of the chaotic thoughts and jumbled emotions. Art is also a non-verbal medium, which means anyone can express themselves without using words.
    Art therapy is especially beneficial for children. They might not have developed the cognitive understanding of their emotions or the skills to express them coherently. Art helps them to communicate their deepest emotions and experiences.
  3. Improve quality of life
    Often, people find art therapy to be de-stressing and a fun relaxation activity. Now, this relaxing hobby has scientific backing. Art therapy helps to improve mood, reduce distress, improve self-esteem, and improve overall quality of life. Engaging in art releases the feel-good hormone in the body, dopamine, which improves mood and reduces negative emotions.
  4. Self-management and growth
    Therapeutic art is a peek within to understand oneself better. It leads to a journey of self-discovery and reconnection. It also helps to recognize strengths, shortcomings, pain points, and areas for improvement. It can help to reexamine self-image and boost self-esteem.
    Art therapy opens up the mind to possibilities and widens the horizons. It promotes out-of-the-box thinking and stimulates creative problem solving.

A qualified art therapist not only assists in the process of expression but also teaches important skills to manage emotions. Based on the expressions and discoveries of the artistic process, they help to cope with concerns and negative situations. Communication, interpersonal skills, self-management, self-expression, and perspective shifting are some of the skills a therapist might exercise.

Developing an interest in seeking art therapy? Get in touch with Faculty Minds! Our team of expert and qualified art therapists regularly facilitates art therapy workshops. Our psychologists are well versed in incorporating art into traditional therapy as well. So get in touch with us to begin your journey towards healing and growth.

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