There are many types of therapy for mental health out there. Each has its pros and cons, and not everyone gets on well with every kind of therapy to treat their mental health. However, there is one that is more niche and unknown than the others that I’d like to bring awareness to for the general public. It is called ‘Art Therapy.’
What is art therapy?
Art Therapy is a type of psychotherapy that uses art and visual mediums to help with expression and communication. It is not a therapy that provides a diagnosis. It just enables you to talk about feelings and symptoms.
The sessions can be provided on an individual and group basis and aren’t like an art lesson in school where you learn about gestures, shape and spend twenty minutes mixing cobalt blue and white to get the right cool toned grey.
Some of the conditions art therapy can help.
Many people with a bunch of mental health conditions use the service. People with conditions like:
- Eating disorders
This type of counselling can cover many types of mediums and styles of creativity. It does depend on the area and the budget they can substitute for the supplies.
Typical forms of the therapy:
Why do people recommend it?
Because art therapy enables you to slow down and create something, anything you like (which can be based on your emotions), it can help you relax and sort through the chaotic and confusing feelings you may have. It can help you explain stuff you can’t talk about or share with others.
Art therapy can be another way to hets your views and voice across and recognise the experiences that have shaped you, Both the good and the bad. Through creating artwork and talking with someone after or during its creation, you get to recognise things about yourself you never realised, such as your growth emotionally, physically and mentally.
Plus, the sessions are delivered by a fully qualified therapist that can tailor the sessions to you. So, you’ll work with mediums you’ll like and work on the emotions and stresses you want.
Why people are sceptical
Although many people sing the praises of this type of psychotherapy, many are equally doubtful.
This is because the moment many adults hear ‘art’, they instantly think of school classes and professionals.
They believe they have to be as talented as Vincent Van Gogh or Picasso.
And so they don’t go or accept the help because they think they have to be masters of the craft! When that isn’t the case. You can never have held a paintbrush in your life and still get something from the sessions.
Plus, to start to feel the benefits of the sessions, you may have to take multiple ones to begin opening up. Like any other therapy session, it takes time, but we expect it to have quick and easy results because it involves art and assumes it works straight away. When like most things regarding mental and physical health, it takes time, effort, hard work and sometimes other medication.
Ways art therapy can help.
Now I’ve been talking about emotions for the last three paragraphs. Granted, this type of medicine or therapy session can help with the feelings on the surface or the ones that need a little digging. However, Art therapy can also help you work out the emotions and feelings that hide in the subconscious.
This is because the process of creating an artwork of any kind can make you start to relax to the point where your ability to go further with exploring your mind is more accessible because of your calm state.
It is suitable for working out what you are feeling and other emotions in the subconscious, but it helps with stress and relieves you of your worries for a little while because you are switching off for a time whilst you create something during the session.
Pain relief and problem-solving
Art therapy is also stated to help reduce pain and stress in adult cancer patients.
On top of this, because the therapy opens the mind, it enables people to seek out new ways to solve problems and address their issues. This improves their ability to problem solve as they can see multiple ways to solve their problems.
Because art therapy can help address past traumas and what feelings they create, it can help you work through those negative aspects of life.
Many people who have past traumas sometimes abuse substances to block out those traumas (which can also affect life badly.) Because the user will have (hopefully!) worked through those traumas in the sessions well enough to have it not affect them as much anymore and move past their addictions!
Art therapy has many benefits and is growing in popularity. If you are struggling with stress or other problems, it could be a good treatment for you!
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