Sometimes called creative arts therapy or expressive arts therapy, this treatment involves people seeking personal development expressing their emotions through any artistic expression.
The following lines will explain what art therapy consists of, its origin, and who can enjoy its benefits will be named.
- 1 Art therapy: or how to heal your mind while developing your creativity.
What does art therapy promise?
Art therapy is a type of expressive arts therapy that consists of using art as a therapeutic route. It is used to cure psychological disorders, treat fears, emotional blocks, traumas from the past. It is a technique for personal development, self-awareness, and emotional expression and can help reduce stress and anxiety and improve awareness, attention, or creativity.
Art therapy, a psychotherapeutic technique, also functions as a leisure activity or mood revitalization, so any art lover can use this technique to stay healthy in mind, body, and soul.
The origins of art therapy
Art therapy emerged in Europe and the United States in the late 19th century and fully developed after World War II.
Margaret Naumburg, the "mother of art therapy," inspired by psychotherapy theories, believed that, through the creative process, individuals expressed repressed unconscious thoughts and feelings. And this way, once their art was finished, it would help them understand what was going on inside each artist. Her writings continue to be influential in the 21st century.
Who should apply the therapy
An art therapist is a professional with several years of study in both psychology and art. She has a minimum of a master's degree, usually from an integrated program in psychotherapy and visual arts.
They are professionals trained in recreational therapy who ensure knowledge in health.
Common uses for this therapy
It is a free therapy for anyone, regardless of gender, age or religion. No knowledge or artistic skills are needed since the therapy does not focus on the result of the artistic process but on the inside of the artist.
It is common to use this therapy to treat people who have experienced a trauma or natural disaster, such as veterans or victims of domestic abuse. In children with learning disabilities or special challenges. In terminally ill patients to help with depression or anxiety.
But in general it can be used for anyone who wants to improve their personal development and alleviate the problems and stress of everyday life.
All types of art therapy
Representation of a play, an improvisational theater or a puppet show. The goal is for the patient to express himself, speak through her character and let out emotions and feelings.
The person joins the material, most commonly clay, since it is a flexible material that produces relaxation and ease in making the shapes that the patient wishes to make.
The lines and drawings they are going to make, and through them, will express their feelings. It is a slow process, in which it is sought that little by little, the person becomes uninhibited to access the depths of emotions.
It can be done individually in pairs or in groups. It is a dynamic exercise in which the person is expected to express how they feel through her body.
It is carried out by improvising songs. It works the voice and the unblocking of the breath.
The capture of images and their subsequent editing will allow the person to express themselves and express themselves with total freedom.
It is the best way to develop imagination. It can start from experiences already lived. Some characters can even identify as ourselves and express emotions through them.
Benefits of art therapy:
- Art therapy is recommended to treat schizophrenia and related illnesses for people with mental health problems.
- For people with learning difficulties, art as therapy can help those who cannot clearly verbalize what they are feeling.
- On the autism spectrum, art therapy can improve communication skills and offer an easy way for participants to express themselves.
- In the court system, art therapists often work in prisons to help criminals to deal with their feelings healthily.
- In people with dementia, the brain’s creative part helps reduce stress levels and restores a sense of personal identity.
- In people with a chronic or terminal illness, this type of therapy can help patients regain a sense of control, freedom, and self-expression. Useful for those who have a hard time talking about their feelings or feel detached from their emotions.
Over the years, art therapy has gained popularity among rehab centers and mental health institutions and has become an integral part of many of them. The most characteristic thing about this therapy is that you don't need to be an artist to enjoy its benefits.
If you want to read more about the different holistic therapies and treatments, be sure to read the following articles: Holistic medicine, an excellent complement to traditional medicine. Wellness: the search for personal well-being.
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