Benefits of Art Therapy
Artistic expression can be therapeutic for people who have experienced trauma, as well as those who have special needs or disabilities. Searching for and utilizing various creative outlets could relieve one’s stress and anxiety. The process of employing art as a means to advance oneself and the society is called art therapy. Studies have proven that this type of therapy can increase concentration and assist with feelings of isolation. Research also indicates that it assists with anxiety, depression, substance dependency, stress, posttraumatic stress, attention deficit hyperactivity, aging issue, cancer, compassion fatigue, anorexia, bulimia, cognitive impairments, and relationship issues.
According to American Art Therapy Association, art therapy is the process of cultivating the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creativity, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship. The main goal of such is to improve cognitive and sensory-motor functions, develop self-esteem and self-awareness, enrich emotional resilience, and enhance insight. Moreover, by encouraging social interaction, it also aims to settle and avoid conflicts, as well as strengthen overall ecological and societal change in consequence. It is a form of psycho-treatment that uses creativity and artistic expression to help resolve issues, as well as manage behaviors and reduce stress. This objective is accomplished through the use of simple art materials, such as paints, chalk, and markers. This type of therapy can also be called “creative arts therapy” or “expressive arts therapy.”
In the present time, technology has made self-expression possible for everyone in a myriad of ways. Likewise, it can be practiced and utilized by everyone in order to communicate and understand themselves in a deeper level. However, unlike other methods of expression that uses language to communicate, art therapy applies aesthetics. This therapy involves the mind, body, and spirit in ways that verbal articulation alone cannot attain. This is advantageous for those who are not capable for expressing themselves within such restriction.
Through artistic therapy, one can express their emotions through visual arts. Examples of techniques that can be used are:
- Finger painting
- Molding clay
- Pottery making
- Card designing
- Textile crafting
- Collage making
- Other forms of visual arts
Artistic therapy provides numerous uses and benefits. The key to maximizing its full potential in enriching one’s life is consistency; regular therapy sessions must be attended in order to experience its therapeutic benefits. Service First of Northern California offers art therapy sessions as part of our “Options” Learning Program.
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