Yes, it's true -- art can be therapeutic!
Art has been used as a therapeutic tool for more than half a century. It is used as a means of expression to draw a connection between the client and personal conflicts.
Art therapy can be helpful in:
- Exploring emotions
- Managing behaviors
- Reducing anxiety and depression
- Increasing self esteem
- Anger management
A variety of art media and materials are used during the therapeutic process. Crayons, paints, pastels, clay, pencils - the options are endless.
Art as therapy can be done on your own or in a clinical setting. One of the most recent forms of art as therapy being used is the adult coloring book. Coloring is very relaxing and can produce some of the same effects as meditation.
When art therapy is done in a formal setting, the therapist will guide clients through an art intervention that will aid in meeting their goals. There are hundreds of art interventions used and many of them can be done at home. For example:
- Line art: This is a simple technique where a color is chosen that will represent the current mood and a line is drawn to demonstrate how that mood feels.
- Draw or paint an emotion: An emotion can be expressed by the image created and the colors chosen.
- Create a safe place: You can use collage or any art material to demonstrate worries and a safe place to provide comfort.
- Volcano: Creating a volcano can represent how you feel when you are when angry and how your anger is expressed.
- Journaling: Using symbols and images can help you keep track of your day-to-day triggers and changes in mood.
The creative process and how it can be used in a therapeutic environment is a deep passion of mine. I have seen it do wonders for people. So get out your paint brush and explore your inner creativity!