Art can be therapeutic. Art therapy is a treatment method that uses drawing, painting, and sculpting. This method is based on the belief that the artistic and creative process helps people resolve inner conflicts, release deep emotions, create self-awareness, manage behaviour and achieve insight. Art therapy is used to help treat disorders such as depression, trauma-related disorders, conduct disorders in children and schizophrenia.
How art helps me
For me art therapy has helped me in:
- Managing difficult emotions
- Teaching myself new behaviours
- Reducing anxiety
- Increasing my self-esteem and sense of fulfilment
- Managing feelings of frustration and anger
The advantage is I can do art on my own even outside therapy. The use of crayons, paints, dyes, pencils and fabrics among other many things provides me with some healing. Even just colouring a book is very relaxing and can produce 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 colour is chosen that will represent the current mood and a line is drawn to demonstrate how that mood feels.
- Drawing or painting an emotion: An emotion can be expressed by the image created and the colours chosen.
- Creating a safe place: You can use collages or any art material to demonstrate worries and a safe place to provide comfort.
- Journaling: Using symbols and images can help you keep track of your day-to-day triggers and changes in mood.
This 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, myself included. So get out your paintbrush and explore your inner creativity.
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