The first thing that you should know is that not all mental health problems are created alike. In other words, the stresses, experiences, feelings, and triggers differ from person to person and are rarely alike. Given how our problems are all different, having the same solution in the form of therapy and counseling does not make a lot of sense.
In the last few years, there has been a growing awareness around mental health treatment and recovery approaches like art psychotherapy. While most of us are aware of psychotherapy, which is the process of seeking help from mental health professionals, there is not a lot of knowledge or literature available on art psychotherapy.
In this resource article, we are going to look at what art psychotherapy is all about. Specifically, we are going to offer an exhaustive definition of the discipline as well as discuss some of its major benefits. If you or someone you know is suffering from mental health concerns and are exploring probable solutions, you should stick around till the end of the article.
Art Psychotherapy: Meaning and Definition
In simple words, art psychotherapy is a form of treatment approach for mental health problems that depends on the creative arts. It uses art in the form of drawing, painting, sculpting, etc. to understand deep-seated mental troubles and problems and finds constructive ways of addressing the present and emerging challenges.
You need to understand that art psychotherapy does not focus on the final outcome of what has been created. Rather, the emphasis is to take individuals into the process of creating art. Experts point out that when individuals battling mental health problems engage with creative arts, they are able to express themselves in a much better fashion.
Since talking about their problems is not something that all of us are too comfortable with, finding different and nuanced ways of expressing one’s feelings and emotions is what art psychotherapy attempts to do. Professionals that offer expert art psychotherapy sessions point out that it can help in resolving inner conflicts, reduce stress, and improve self-esteem.
Benefits of Art Psychotherapy in 2022: Reasons why you should think about it seriously
In this section, we are going to outline and list down some of the major benefits of art psychotherapy and how it can contribute to mental, physical, and emotional well-being:
Freedom to discuss difficult subjects better
A teenager or a young adult that had been sexually abused by a close family member might feel hesitant of opening up for fear of destroying the family dynamics. Through art psychotherapy, they will be able to express some of their bad experiences without speaking about it. It is up to the expert to then uncover what happened and how it could be addressed.
Builds imagination and stimulates the brain
Most individuals that are suffering from poor mental health tend to switch off the imaginative part of their brain. Locking up feelings and emotions builds up pressure that takes a toll on their mental health. Through creative channels, or by simply engaging in the process, it helps them unleash the creative and imaginative aspect of their brain and personalities.
Increases self-confidence and builds self-esteem
If an individual is feeling hopeless, they have a poor sense of self-worth. They start feeling that no one cares about them and this forces them to shut down. By being encouraged to express themselves, such individuals can slowly start to come out of their self-imposed shells and see themselves in a more confident light. It is all about taking slow and meaningful steps.
Identification of difficult feelings and emotions
We tend to store away our worst memories and lock them up for good. However, that does not mean that it goes away for good. While we do not want to speak about it, acknowledging the same through creative arts can be a great way of working on resolving them. The emotions are so disturbing that we do not even want to come face-to-face with them at all.
Improves motor skills and hand-eye coordination
Art psychotherapy professionals point out that this form of therapy is great for kids and young children that are specially-abled. For example, several studies have pointed out how kids with autism can benefit remarkably from an art psychotherapy approach. Through a safe and nurturing environment, such kids are able to work on their motor and cognitive abilities.
The Final Takeaway
There is no doubt that art psychotherapy is growing in stature and importance when it comes to emerging as an alternative approach to mental health treatment. It is a process that flows from the speed of the individual and their development and not the other way around. If you have any questions that you would like us to address on the topic, please let us know in the comments section below.