The Benefits of Art Therapy

4.1 min readTags: , , Categories: culture, FUN, PSYCHOLOGYPublished On: November 1st, 2021

What is Art Therapy and what is it for?

Art Therapy is a technique that can be combined with psychotherapy, and allows the externalization of oneself to improve mood and psycho-physical health.

Art as a form of therapy: this is the idea behind Art Therapy, which can give very important benefits to psycho-physical health, as long as it is practiced in the correct way. Let’s find out together how this practice works, a practice that may allow to externalize oneself through artistic creation, and what one needs to know.

Art Therapy produces a sort of metamorphosis in the person, which takes place thanks to the creative art it releases.

The result is the liberation of one’s creativity and consequently of one’s desire for expression. It is in fact a targeted psychotherapy, adjuvant of the classic therapy, designed to solve or soothe problems that have to do with existential, psychic and emotional discomfort.

This technique is based on body or sensory language: the creativity of the person can be expressed with different forms of art, such as dance, painting, writing, music and drawing. Through these expressions, anyone might be able to communicate their emotions and their mood, much better than with words.

It does not matter if the artistic result is more or less high quality, but it only matters being carried away by one’s feelings, creating one’s own artistic vision and leaving an unequivocal mark of one’s personality at that particular moment.

Already at the beginning of the last century, celebrities such as Freud and Jung dealt with artistic expression and the creative process.
While a part of psychiatry attempted to interpret and schematize works and drawings of the mentally ill or marginalized, other avenues deriving from psychoanalysis led to the actual definition of Art Therapy, with a method based on the expressive and therapeutic component of artistic creation.

Today many researchers are interested in the psychology of art contributing to the knowledge of the mechanisms at play between image-brain-emotion-cognition-learning.

Let’s take artists as an example, who have always expressed themselves and communicated with the language of art, as a necessity of the soul and spirit. So do children with the drawings and in some way already the primitive men with the cave paintings. We know that there are many works also dictated by madness, from those of the most marginalized sick to those of some of the most famous artists.

We therefore see that there are many situations in which the use of creativity and artistic mediation becomes useful if not necessary for survival itself.

This tells us a lot about the possibilities of application of Art Therapy, an excellent tool when verbal language does not allow communication and the expression of emotions.

The interesting aspect of Art Therapy is its plasticity of adaptation which, beyond psycho-pathological discomfort, makes it a resource in the paths of growth and knowledge towards the acquisition of greater self-awareness.

Who can benefit Art Therapy?

Its versatility makes it useful in the most varied circumstances and at any age. Art Therapy has been successfully used in the extreme field of major psychic problems and is to be considered an indispensable form of inner communication suitable for the growth of children (who instinctively are very inclined to sensory communication, especially to painting), but also to the maturation of adolescents and adults, with or without psychological problems.

It can represent a key to access the healing path we are following, it can also offer the advantage of having a playful aspect, fundamental for attention to the here and now, almost like  meditation.

Another important aspect is that regarding the body, which actively participates in Art Therapy. The coordination between eye and hand, for example, and of fine movements are very important aspects, especially in some particular cases.
It can be helpful in psychomotricity, if used in integration with movement. In addition, the sensoriality aspects involve a complete mind-body experience, like the emotions evoked by the manipulation of clay, an archaic and natural matter.

In photography the body can move in space and while “handling” a “technological” tool it is managed the relationship inside-out. Even with colors the body participates more or less, for example if we work on large sheets, on the ground or standing, or giving color with our hands.

The “how” a person works gives us no less useful indications than the “what” is accomplished.

Generally one experiences a good sense of relaxation and greater immediate well-being and one finds that he/she/* can afford creative expression because there are no aesthetic expectations or judgments.

Intuition is favored and this allows to enhance aspects not focused until then. Clinically it allows to approach and touch on issues to which verbal access arrives with more difficulty and time, and to process them more easily thanks to the interpretation of the created object and the dialectic with the images.

Art Therapy promotes a therapeutic process intended for good growth and proper self-awareness.

You are here:Home/Posts/culture, FUN, PSYCHOLOGY/The Benefits of Art Therapy