Art therapy would be the use of creative means to heal psychiatric illnesses and improve mental wellbeing. Art therapy is a method based on the belief that creative expression may help people recover and feel better. 

For hundreds of years, mankind always relied mostly on arts for interaction, consciousness, and therapy. However, it was not until the 1940s that art therapy became a structured curriculum.

Clinicians saw that people diagnosed with mental illness frequently communicated emotions via sketches and other crafts, prompting many more to consider using art as a therapeutic technique. Art has since become an essential aspect of the diagnosis and management of patients, with certain diagnostic and therapeutic procedures using it.

Creative Therapies

What Are They and How Do They Work? Art therapy isn’t the only form of creative expression utilized to heal mental illnesses. Among the other sorts of creative treatments are:

  • Dancing as a form of treatment
  • Dramatic therapy 
  • Descriptive therapy 
  • Music as a form of treatment

The purpose of art therapy is to use the artistic method to improve people’s discovery of self-expression and, as a result, build new emotional regulation techniques as well as acquire profound comprehension.

Art is often used to help individuals experience feelings, improve themselves, deal with stress, raise self-esteem, & improve relationships through creating or appreciating it.

The following are some of the approaches that may be utilized in art therapy:

  • Collage
  • Painting
  • doodling and sketching
  • Coloring with your fingers
  • Painting
  • Sculpting
  • Utilizing clay to create

Around 1915, Margaret Naumburg, known as the “founder of art education,” founded the Walden School in her hometown of Nyc. Margaret is largely viewed as the major pioneer of the art therapy movement that began in the United States of America.  Naumburg thought that allowing students to experience themselves artistically and explore areas in which they were interested would lead to better growth. Naumburg came to see the innovation side as a technique comparable to vocalization way of excavating suppressed, subconscious ideas and emotions—influenced by the Freudian movements of the era. She felt that recovery might occur when the metaphorical representation of a user’s frame of mind was linked with linguistic and cognitive parts of reality.

Adults and children have benefited from art therapy. Art therapy has been shown to enhance communication and focus, as well as lessen feelings of loneliness, according to research. Personality, assertiveness, and consciousness have all been demonstrated to improve with this type of psychotherapy.

What Does Art Therapy Help With?

People dealing with challenges like these can often obtain good outcomes through art therapy.

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Reliance on drugs or alcohol
  • Distress
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Impulsivity due to an attention deficiency
  • Aging difficulties and aging
  • Tumor
  • Compassion exhaustion
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Schizophrenia
  • Anorexia
  • Impaired cognition
  • Interpersonal or family problems

Art therapy is said to be especially beneficial for someone who is out of tune with their feelings or sentiments since it facilitates communication of emotions on every subject via productive expression instead of talking. Art therapy may well be especially beneficial for people who have trouble talking about or recalling terrible situations.

While tests are always being undertaken, recent evidence indicates that art therapy may assist those identified with schizophrenia to notice improvements in several of their symptoms.

Some contemporary artists whose works have majorly contributed to art therapy are the artist Charlie Hunter and Daniel Gerhartz. Art Galleries in St George display their works and modern psychologists have credited their works to be especially beneficial for those who consume art therapy.

With the artist Charlie Hunter using pastoral life to display the quality of life and Daniel Gerhartz using femininity, both the artists serve as an inspiration to those who wish to use art to depict their outlook on life. 

Among the most pressing issues about art therapy is its efficacy. Although many people believe it is effective, others have been doubtful. Adults, for an instance, may not have been willing to participate completely and honestly in the therapy process, and may absolutely refuse it. Furthermore, some people may assume they aren’t imaginative or artistic enough even for treatment to be effective, despite the fact that the purpose of psychotherapy is to communicate one’s ideas and emotions, not to create artistic marvels. Leading to a shortage of corroborating scientific data, the usefulness of art therapy could also be questioned.

Those who want to pursue art treatment modalities may discover that they should always devote themselves to a period of appointments without reaping the clinical benefit of the technique. The expenses of purchasing necessary equipment, publications, as well as other resources are often a source of worry. It might be difficult to find an appropriate location for therapy, particularly if fluid medium, special illumination, or even other specialized equipment is utilized.

Modern art has progressed to do more than just be appealing to the eye and as viewers and individuals driving the future, we must use this device to our benefit!