Art Therapy: Definition And Benefits

Art therapy: definition and benefits

Art encourages the exploration, expression, and communication of unconscious things. Art therapy can improve relationships between people by processing emotions because it focuses on the emotional side that is a major part of every human being. And in that way, it helps people become more aware of their own hidden parts that help them evolve.

Art therapy is about people. It’s not about one person, it’s a project that people do for a desire for comfort and change. Art therapy seeks to update the terms of creative output, identify certain details of different art forms, and understand all of their implications through personal and cultural differences.

Art therapy can be defined as a discipline with certain aspects and concrete boundaries. It is a form of support (or sometimes therapy) that uses visual art as a way to help people recover or improve their mental health and mental and social well-being. The goals of art therapy are the same as those of psychotherapy.

This support focuses on art as a form of communication. And so it helps people express feelings and communicate about them. It makes it easier for them to reflect on and achieve the behavior change they need. The use of works of art begins a special process: it takes over the therapeutic space and then interrupts reality by re-evaluating it.

Art forms utilized by art therapy

The art forms used in art therapy are visual art. It means painting, sculpture, collages, and performing arts such as exhibition, storytelling, memorial theater, role-playing games, and puppetry. When it comes to music, it uses rhythm, sound, instruments, and different genres can be used in writing. Art therapy is a way of telling the truth through symbolism. Things expressed through human creativity may represent aggression, rejection, loss, or emotion. They also do it indirectly without having to mean it.

art therapy in a group

Theater

In plays, drama, or puppetry, the patient speaks through the character. It is the skill of acting through a fictional character. It is a process of individual and / or collective creative work located between two separate worlds: fiction and reality. And when it comes to clay sculpture, a dialogue is started with that material. People are encouraged to find themselves through that material. But it’s also about being present on their journey from clay to themselves.

Painting

In painting, patients take the first step to open themselves. In this way, they drift with all the images, imprints, shapes, and colors they encounter. The goal is to prevent your hands from covering your eyes, it’s like a kind of blocking of combat. And then they can arrange things later and get closer to a deeper self.

Dance and sound

When it comes to dancing, it is the first moment that patients become aware of their own movements. We mean that they can hear it and hear themselves through that movement. It helps them get closer to themselves and communicate with other people later. When it comes to sound, you want them to find and use their natural voice as well as relax their breathing. You can do that by putting them to improvise and combine different sounds.

Writing

Writing can give patients new ways to play with their own experiences through imagination. There will be imaginative situations and friends as well as different timelines and eventually they will re-create their own story in fiction.

Emotion processing in art therapy

Emotions are extremely important when it comes to human experience and development. Working with art through art therapy helps people develop individually and mentally. Art therapy consists of four stages of emotion processing: naming, researching, experimenting, and unifying. Emotions are our main way of communicating and can even be more important than words. So if your words don’t conform to the right feelings, people probably won’t believe them.

Usually when you express something emotional, you use facial expressions, imagery, verbal metaphors, and tone of voice to better communicate with people. They help you understand and express much more than just the words themselves, as long as the emotions are in line with the words. Art encourages the exploration, expression, and communication of unconscious things in the same way as other nonverbal communication.

Working with emotions through art therapy can improve the quality of human relationships. It also focuses on mental factors and helps you become aware of hidden perspectives that help you develop. Basic feelings such as fear, anger, happiness, love, sadness, and uncomfortable feeling are necessary and important for mental balance.

woman writing outdoors

Why emotions are so important

All of your emotions have their own impact on your cognitive abilities, physical health, and professional performance. Having good emotional intelligence means that you are able to express just the right emotions and in just the right amount in certain situations. It also means being able to see other people’s emotional state and be empathetic.

Working with art can help people’s personal and spiritual development. The unconscious mind deals with more symbols than logical words. Therefore, the use of art can facilitate the development of the reflection process. You can discuss things more through art, especially unconsciously. That’s because images convey much more than words and are a safe way to explore difficult topics.

The benefits of psychotherapy through art

Art therapy is useful when you want to develop people’s interaction skills. It makes patients more easily connected with the people around them, as such therapy tends to facilitate self-expression. It is also very helpful in controlling behavior, improving self-esteem, and avoiding the negative effects of any kind of anxiety.

We will now give you more detailed information about all the benefits of art therapy:

1. Expressing feelings that are difficult to say

It can be difficult for us to express things we know or think in traditional ways. That’s why art therapy helps encourage things to be expressed and worked on. It can help you shape those thoughts and feelings that are so hard to unravel.

2. Developing healthy encounter skills

Meeting emotions and feelings in a creative way can be very helpful in trying to change the deep-rooted practices or ways people make when they feel the need to express those feelings. Art therapy helps as you go through sad times and strive to use that feeling to create something. This is especially important when you need to face the situation in the best possible way.

3. Exploring imagination and creativity

Using such therapy helps a person enhance their ability to create and imagine things. She can also develop these skills by working on them in a more focused way and with the help of a therapist.

4. Improving self-confidence and self-esteem

When you prove that you can do something for yourself, it will help you get to a more emotionally balanced place. With it, achieving your own goals will help you improve your own self-confidence and remind you that you are doing well.

5. Identifying and clarifying concerns

If something worries you inside, capturing someone in the outside world will help you look at concepts that are difficult for you to understand in a more practical and accessible way. They are usually abstract thoughts that you can press on your brain only if you look at them from the outside.

art therapy: emotions

6. Increasing communication skills

Using art to express oneself helps people get new tools to communicate. And that’s true of communicating both with other people and with yourself. When people are able to express what they find difficult to put into words, it teaches them to express things more clearly and in a way that aligns better with what they want to say.

7. Improvement of physical abilities

Art therapy usually means using the body to express something you can’t say out loud. For this reason, such therapy is also beneficial for people who have difficulty making certain movements or have poor coordination skills.

8. Reduction of stress and anxiety

Doing activities related to art and creativity gives people a moment to lower their stress and anxiety levels. People using this type of therapy find these activities relaxing.

9. It encourages people to work on how they think, and it helps them reflect

Scientific thinking extends even further and has the ability to be independent or solve problems in everyday life.

10. Improved concentration, attention and memory

Learning to focus is important in daily life. The ability to concentrate will help you greatly when you need to be effective in any task. Having a good ability to concentrate has thousands of benefits: it improves memory, decision-making, accuracy, and flexibility with respect to the goal you are currently accomplishing.

draw and paint

People from different demographic groups use art therapy for physical and mental health as well as mental and social well-being. When people need help with their body expression, they can use art therapy based on psychotherapy methods to help.

Art therapy can be used by children as well as teenagers and adults. It can even be tailored to their therapeutic and educational needs. In the latter, cognitive-behavioral methods can be of great help in art therapy (or vice versa) when it comes to teaching things that are directly part of educational development.

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