What is Art Therapy?
Art therapy was recognized only in the middle of the 20 th century. However, people had already been using arts as a way of expression, communication, and including healing even before then. There were some specialist who noted that people suffering from a mental illness will often express themselves in artworks, like drawing and paintings. This actually leads to studies and exploration of art as a therapy. And after then, art has become significant in the therapeutic field and had been used for treatment. Art therapy is a form of therapy that makes use of the creative process of creating art to help improve a person’s physical, mental, and as well as the emotional well-being. The therapy is also called creative arts therapy and expressive arts therapy. It can also help a person’s issues about his life and will allow them to be able to manage their feelings and behaviors towards a certain kind of emotion. The therapy can definitely reduce stress and could also improve self-esteem and awareness. According to free dictionary, Art therapy encourages people to express and understand emotions through artistic expression and through creative process. The process involves the artistic expression of one’s self, but one does not need to be really talented or to be someone who really artistic to get into the therapy. There will be professionals that can help you go through the process of art therapy that would allow you to immerse in your art and continue with the healing process. The process involves the creation of art, which uses art materials like paints, pencil, markers, and other art materials. The therapy caters both the children and as well as the elderly. Clients that are experiencing emotional trauma, physical or mental abuse, depression, and any other psychological problems can definitely benefit in the therapy. Many places are available for art therapy like, hospitals, mental offices, schools, and even community organizations. In art therapy, the focus isn’t only the inner experience just like all the other kind of therapies out there. Art therapy involves learning a certain kind of skills. It focuses more on creating images that is inside your mind. It’s more like pulling out all the ideas inside your mind and not just what you see in your surroundings.
So how is this different from taking an art class? Basically, in an art class you will be asked to paint and use your imagination. In an art therapy, clients paint what they feel inside. The therapy allows you to draw into the world what you feel in your inner self. It doesn’t just tap into imagination, it taps into the truth within yourself and it addresses the issue that you have within you. And no matter what you’re going through, surely you could still benefit from it.
The benefits of the therapy could vary from one person to another. There are people that tapped into their inner self and got a deeper meaning and understanding about life and themselves. Others achieved healing, inner peace, psychotherapy, and rehabilitation.