What is Art Therapy? What is Art Therapy?

Care to reduce stress? Manage your behaviour and feelings, or improve your self-esteem and awareness? The creative process involved in expressing yourself artistically can help you resolve all these issues you might be dealing with in your everyday life.

Art Therapy, as defined by Wikipedia, is a form of expressive therapy that uses art materials, such as paints, chalk and markers. Art therapy combines traditional psychotherapeutic theories and techniques with an understanding of the psychological aspects of the creative process, especially the affective properties of the different art materials.

Art therapists are professionals trained in both art and therapy. They are knowledgeable about human development, psychological theory, clinical practice, spiritual, multicultural and artistic traditions, and also the healing potential of art. They use art in treatment, assessment and research and provide consultations to allied professionals.

For the most part, anyone can use art therapy. One of the beauties of art as a way to heal is the ability for a person to express his/her feelings through any form of art. Though there are other types of expressive therapies (such as the performing arts), expressive art therapy as discussed here typically utilizes more traditional artistic forms, such as painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, or a variety of other types of visual art expression.

 

Many of you might ask themselves if they have to be talented to use this type of therapy, but you certainly don’t. You need not be “afraid” of expressing yourself through art. Though it may seem different and unnatural at first, it is typically because the individual is not used to communicating via the arts. The creative process can be one of the most rewarding aspects. Coupled with an art therapist, you should in time feel comfortable with this newfound form of expression. After all, the goal is not necessarily to create an art masterpiece, but master your feelings!

 

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