Art therapy and mental health problems in 2023

What Is art therapy?

Art therapy is the usage of artistic methods and techniques for treating psychological issues and nourishing mental health.

Art therapy became an official course of therapeutic treatment in the 1940s but art itself has been used by people for centuries as a tool for self-expression, as a communication source, and to heal themselves

Some psychologists have noted that many people suffering from mental health problems find their escape in artistic practices. Art Therapy has become an effective treatment tool for many therapists treating patients with mental health issues and has caused more people to seek out this form of therapy.

Types of art therapy:

There are several types of art therapy being used by therapists to treat their client’s mental health. , a few of them are explained here.

Painting:

Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, colour or another medium to a surface. The medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other implements, such as knives, sponges, and airbrushes, can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action.

Painting is a fluid art form that takes precision and control to master so, if a patient is experiencing issues with these areas, painting could be a very effective form of therapy for them.

Drawing:

Drawing is the practice of making art by creating marking using items such as pens, pencils, pastels, crayons, or charcoal, typically on a piece of paper.

Art therapists can direct their patients to explore a variety of emotions through their drawings. Many people are already familiar with the concept of using drawing to express their emotions which means that they can do it with a little guidance

Sculpture:

A sculpture is a three-dimensional art, often made using paper clay, clay, carving tools, decorative items, and paper mache.

The benefit of therapy through sculpturing is that it gives the client a multi-dimensional view. It is a kind of tactile art which provides the client with an opportunity to construct their environment. It gives the client hope that their situation is multi-dimensional and that they can approach its solution from different perspectives.

Collage:

Collage is the art of collecting pictures and text from magazines, newspapers, substrates, stamps, brayer, patterned papers, and stickers but pens, pencils, and paints can also be added to help patients translate their thoughts and emotions more precisely.

Collage can be a more accessible type of art therapy to some clients as they are working with images and text that have already been created. It can especially help therapists treat patients facing difficulties with starting tasks and issues related to decision making.

Writing:

While it is not considered a creative visual outlet, writing can be a very useful tool for art therapy.

In this course of therapy, patients will write their thoughts in a journal or create a comic to let go of their hard thoughts and emotions. Writing can help the client with arranging and solidifying their thoughts and feelings about a particular problem they are facing.

What are art therapists?

Art therapists are top-level clinicians and experts who deal with clients of all ages and have broad experience related to the field. They are especially guided by ethical standards. Their education and prepares them to work with a variety of diverse people and in various situations. They work to keep an individual’s cultural values and beliefs in consideration.  They treat those facing mental health, or any other health issues, in life. Their purpose also includes coaxing out emotions and creativeness hidden in people, which they are afraid to show and helping people to grow spiritually.

Collage can be a more accessible type of art therapy to some clients as they are working with images and text that have already been created. It can especially help therapists treat patients facing difficulties with starting tasks and issues related to decision making.

Techniques applied in art therapy:

Art therapy is used to expose all the problems inside of a person in visual form so that they might work through them, leaving the healed person behind. The goal of this is to explore emotions hidden inside the person, allowing them to develop self-awareness, helping them to deal with issues, giving insight into people’s thoughts, and develop exciting new skills in them.

It works by engaging the person with their body, mind, and spirit in many distinctive ways using visual or written articulation only. Engaging the senses and creating tactile manifestations of thoughts and feelings can bring out those things from inside of the person which can’t be done by simple communication only. When a person feels too uncomfortable to speak, symbolic and visual communication give those emotions a voice with which to shout their heart out. It empowers the person to face the harsh side of society and fight those issues building up inside them.

When an art therapy client creates a piece of art, they analyse their art and realise how this piece of art is a reflection of their emotions, thoughts and behaviours and how can they positively rearrange their mind.

Types of mental health art therapy support with:

Art therapy is considered one of the main treatments to deal with traditional mental health problems. It aims to manage and arrange the feelings, behaviours, and emotions, reduce stress and anxiety, and increase the self-esteem of the client. Some mental health problems with can be dealt with through art therapy are discussed here:

Self discovery:

By creating art, you can get aware of those feelings hidden inside you. You get familiar with a new side and beautiful side of you, which is never in view with others and even of yourself.

Self-esteem:

With the process of art therapy, you get the motivation for self-accomplishment. By getting the motivation of self-accomplishment you can work on your confidence, self-development, and self-appreciation, and can gain a better understanding of your thoughts too.

Stress relief:

Besides these mental health problems, there are also many physical health issues with which art therapy appears beneficial. Some of them are discussed here:

Addictions:

Art therapy helps treat those people who are addicted to substances such as drugs and alcohol. It gives them the escape from their struggles with addiction by taking their mental frustration out in the form of art.

Dementia:

Dementia is a disease which causes you to lose your cognitive functioning i.e. sense of thinking, remembering and reasoning. It changes a person’s behaviour and personality as well as causes issues with emotional control. Using art therapy, they can arrange their thoughts, calm down and properly memorize things by looking at the art created by them.

Cancer:

Individuals with active cancer experience pain while going through the disease and subsequent treatment. Mental health support is vital for these situations. Art therapy and creative therapy play an important role in non-medicinal support

In conclusion, Art therapy is a gentle but beneficial treatment for your mental health and many other diseases, which allows you to improve your issues while having fun and enjoyment at the same time.

Therapy Fort team