Creative Therapy: Painting

Creative therapy: painting

In his book “The Element”, Ken Robinson tells the following story about painting: a school teacher held a visual arts class and a little girl was sitting at the back of the class. This generally did not pay attention to teaching, with the exception of visual arts classes.

The girl drew for twenty minutes completely immersed in her thoughts and the teacher asked her what she was drawing. The girl replied, “I draw God”. The teacher said, “But no one knows what God looks like.” The girl replied, “They’ll find out soon.”

This report shows the importance of drawing and painting, as well as how these activities can be used as a form of therapy to make contact with the world.

What is the psychology of art?

Art psychology is a trend in psychology dedicated to studying the phenomena of creation and appreciation of art from a psychological perspective. Many aspects link art psychology to general psychology, such as perception, emotions, memories, thoughts, and language.

Many psychotherapists have proven the beneficial effects of the art in treating patients who come to the office because of psychological difficulties. This is because art in all its forms (painting, dance, music, writing, theater, etc.) liberates human subjectivity. Thus, it can be used to resolve conflicts, communication problems, expression difficulties, and many other psychological challenges.


The benefits of therapeutic painting

Painting on canvas, paper, or any other surface that helps us express ourselves can be a great way to channel feelings and thoughts that need to be communicated but can be difficult to express in other ways. It is an alternative and natural form of therapy that can have many benefits, such as:

Improving communication skills

People who start therapeutic painting are often shy and withdrawn and may have difficulty communicating with their families and even their therapists. But  through painting, shy people release their creativity and express their feelings.

Improved self-esteem

When therapeutic painting is done in a non-competitive, relaxed, and pleasant environment, the patient can achieve their personal goals encouraged by psychotherapists. This strengthens his self-esteem. This aspect can be important for those with interdependence problems, trauma, or a need to strengthen their independence and learn to love and appreciate themselves.

Improved motor skills

Just as when we play an instrument, through painting and brushwork we learn to regulate hand movements and develop connections in the brain that are related to this ability. In adults, painting can help improve fine motor skills.

Brain stimulation

Drawing and painting stimulates both brain blocks, both left and right. The left is the logical and rational side and the right side is responsible for creativity and emotion. It’s about letting our imaginations fly, while letting our deepest thoughts breathe.

creative right hemisphere


Dedication to painting, or any other artistic work of creation, requires concentration. Painting is a meticulous job that allows us to forget about our surroundings and simply drag us along. Time passes completely unnoticed.

The state of advanced concentration is known as Alphana and has been the subject of numerous studies. This is a state of mind where part of our brain is in a conscious state, and another part brings out the subconscious. This same state can be achieved through prayer, meditation, or music.

Emotional intelligence

Emotions are an important part of creativity. Through painting, we can let our feelings flow and experience happiness, love, empathy, and peace. Relaxation achieved through painting helps to achieve a balance between heart and mind.

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