All About Art Therapy: How To And Why
Spoiler alert: Art therapy is awesome. It doesn’t have to follow any convention to work and it has incredible benefits.
We’re going to get into all that, though. Don’t worry.
Working with art has some surprising benefits. Whether you work with an accredited art therapist or all on your own, learn what this practice can add to your life!
About Art Therapy: What Is Art Therapy?
Art therapy is simply the act of creating art with a purpose. The subject, in this case that’s you, doesn’t have to know there’s a purpose for the therapy to work. But if the subject is unaware, the practice was probably suggested by a therapist or is being overseen by a caregiver.
The purpose is wellness. Your art therapy might calm your anxiety. Someone else might use art therapy to express themselves if they’re nonverbal. This therapy can help trauma victims or even serve the simple purpose of helping you relax after a stressful day.
The objective is to use art to achieve healing and mental well being through creative expression.
To truly reap the benefits, the artist or the therapist will review the art after creation. A discussion often ensues which touches on psychotherapy tactics and methods. This phase of the treatment addresses anything that revealed itself through the artwork or the creative process.
Why Try Art Therapy?
The art we create often contains clues to our deeper thoughts. It may reveal themes that give insight about issues we struggle with. Creating art can also bring conflicts we face to the surface.
It’s easier to talk about your artwork than dive directly into your troubles. Sometimes, the art actually helps the subject or client realize and recognize patterns or issues they weren’t consciously aware of.
It’s deceptively simple but can be powerful.
A 2017 study found that art displayed in hospital settings contributed to an environment where patients felt safe. It also played a role in improving socialization and maintaining an identity outside of the hospital. – Verywellmind.com
In institutional settings, art-based therapy helps patients socialize and feel comfortable. These factors are often the first steps toward deeper sharing. Through sharing, healing is realized.
About Art Therapy: Is All Art Therapy?
If you ask us, the answer is yes. While traditional art therapy requires some input from a mental health professional, we advocate that everyone find a creative hobby. Even if you are making art on your own, you can experience greater mental wellbeing.
If you want, you can analyze the art after you’ve created it. Even something as simple as a collage can reveal interesting things about your inner mind.
About Art Therapy: What Art Reveals
A trained art therapist possesses a specific educational background in the symbolic nature of things like color and use of space. It’s a fascinating inter-disciplinary exploration. Within a session, the art you create is its own therapy. Afterward, your therapist will study your work and talk with you about it. It’s a little like having two sessions in one.
How To Get Involved
Feeling intrigued? You can search for an art therapist near you at Arttherapy.org or reach out to your insurance provider and ask some questions. If you already see a therapist, they’re also a great resource. They might be willing to expand their practice to incorporate art work or point you in the direction of a trained colleague.
About Art Therapy: Art And Mindfulness
Did you know that one of Skara’s founders is an artist? He creates work that explores the dissolution of self, how our personalities and concepts of who we are fit into the concept of the universal consciousness, and other far-out themes. His art is like meditation for him and you can feel that sensation as well.
Imagine dropping a dose of Harmonize and letting your creative spirit run wild on a canvas or even through something like poetry. While you create, you can practice the mindfulness exercise of being in the moment.
As your hands work and your brain focuses on realizing your creative flow, you’re distancing yourself from daily stress and troubles. You’re clearing your mind and calming your thoughts.
Get Your Art On
So whether you want to explore a formal therapy arrangement or just take up a creative hobby, we encourage you to go for it! Stay mindful, let your spirit speak through your work, and just let go.
You might be surprised by what you have to show for your efforts.