“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” – Pablo Picasso
For thousands of years, individuals have been communicating, healing, and expressing their emotions through art. Art therapy is a counselling technique that aims to improve the mental well-being of an individual. When an individual draws or paints or creates any kind of art in any form, they tend to express their thoughts, emotions, and feelings, which helps them develop traits like increased self-esteem, self–confidence, and self-awareness. Art helps in stimulating the brain and is a language of our unconscious mind to express itself. Art therapy aims to improve an individual’s emotional, physical as well as mental well-being.
We often tend to think that Art therapy is only for children. Although this is not true. Art therapy is ideal for all age groups as at, times even adults cannot figure how or why they are feeling such emotions. So, when they tend to get involved in the creative process of making art, they self-explore themselves like their fears or unwanted thoughts and express what they are feeling in the art. Art therapy is extremely helpful and beneficial to children at a young age. A child is always neither comfortable nor capable of expressing all their thoughts and words.
An art therapist can help you recognise your thoughts and emotions that an individual may not be able to comprehend by themselves. Upon recognising those emotions, an art therapist can further help you resolve those emotions and help in better well-being.
Art therapy can be used in various situations. A few of those include:
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder patients
Children might either have social or behavioural issues
An individual who is suffering from depression and an extreme amount of stress
An individual who is facing difficulties in expressing their emotions
An individual who is facing marital and family relationships
There are various benefits of art therapy. A few of them are mentioned below-
Art can reduce stress- Various studies show that art can help manage and reduce stress.
Improves critical thinking- Art therapy encourages our mind to explore and seek better solutions. This also helps in making individuals improve their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Interpersonal skills- With Art therapy’s help, a child improves their interpersonal skills. This also helps adults and adolescents alike to improve their interpersonal skills.
Improves Attention- When an individual is involved in creating art, the process helps them create a better attention span. They experience flow and enhance their concentration by making an evident effort to create something of their liking.
Overcoming traumas- Many individuals cannot overcome their traumas and are unable to express or remove the painful memory of the trauma. Art therapy helps to slow expressing their feeling toward the unfortunate event that they have faced. An individual becomes more confident about exploring and talking about the insight into the traumatic event.
Self-awareness- An individual increases their self-awareness. Individuals become capable of having a better sense of self-independence and self-sufficiency.
Art reduces Depression- Various research shows that Art therapy alleviates depression. Art therapy helps an individual to look forward every day to creating something better and new. Art therapy also helps in fighting the chemical imbalances within our brain that causes depression.
Communication skills- Many of us are unable to express our thoughts and feelings. An individual who cannot express themselves with their family or friends often takes the help of unhealthy habits like alcohol and substance use. Art therapy helps individuals express themselves and tend to develop communication skills through means of art. Children who tend to suffer from traumas generally do not display their thoughts and emotions through direct communication. Art therapy helps them slowly express their thoughts. Art becomes a medium of communication between the child and the therapist.
Release of Emotions- One of the best benefits of the therapy is giving oneself a chance to let go of your own fears and feelings. These fears pertain to causing stress and other illness among us.
Emotions are very complex. Fear and anger are two common complex emotions that can’t be expressed or even discovered through direct communication like words or talking. Art helps us to express such emotions when we directly are unable to do so.
So, how do you think art therapy can help you? Let us know in the comments below.