The Art therapy Is a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of making art to improve the patient's physical, mental and emotional health.
The creative process involved in artistic expression of oneself can help people solve problems as well as develop and manage their behaviors and feelings, reduce stress and improve self-esteem and awareness.
I am sure that throughout your life, there has been some time when you were discouraged and used some of the artistic expressions that humans have to feel better, for example: writing, drawing, painting or even listening to music.
Even sure that in moments where you State of mind Was good, you also wanted to express it in the form of text, drawing or song. Who has not put on music to dance at some point where we have been happy?
This process of creation that implies that the person expresses himself artistically, can help you resolve conflicts, as well as develop and manage behaviors and emotions.
It can also be used as a tool to reduce those levels of stress that are too high, have a good self-concept, good self-esteem and work the awareness for and for ourselves.
You may think that to use this form of therapy you need to have talent in some of the fields used in art therapy, but all you need is to know how to express yourself and not be afraid to do so.
Anyone can get benefits from this type of therapy at Practice your exercises .
This therapy is performed in the presence of a therapist who is specialized in this field and who has received training. The therapist is who will help you to see and understand the messages that lie behind your artwork.
Although this type of therapy is used with different people and has many benefits, the general objective of this form of therapy is to communicate with ourselves so that we can understand ourselves better and at a deeper level.
Then I will talk to you in detail about art therapy, what it is, what it implies, who applies it and the benefits you can get from it.
What is art therapy?
One of the most consensual and complete definitions of this type of therapy is the following:
Art therapy consists of creating with the purpose of increasing the level of self-knowledge about ourselves as well as being able to get to know others better. In turn it promotes personal development. The coping skills as well as the improvement of the retinue function. It is a therapy that is based on theories of personality, human development, family systems and artistic education.
Art therapy differs from other psychotherapeutic techniques in which art introduces art as a means to help patients in their conflicts.
Art therapy in its beginnings was closely related to the analytical psychology of Jung and the Freudian psychoanalysis Since there was a remarkable relation between the works that were realized in the therapy and the dream images.
But with the passage of time other therapies are linked to art therapy, getting so they are currently directly related to art therapy.
Using art as therapy exposes the idea that artistic creation alone produces a therapeutic effect as well as the promotion of personal growth. It also includes the concept of symbolic communication and expression of the personality , Emotions and other aspects of the experience of humans.
It is proven that art therapy achieves the goals proposed in many psychological and mental conditions that require therapy.
It can be used in a wide variety of disorders, such as somatic, traumatic or even depressive disorders. It is also indicated in neurological and cognitive disorders.
But best of all, it is not necessary to have an underlying pathology to benefit from art therapy, since it is considered as a very effective intervention method for Improve Life Quality In general of the people as well as for the achievement of a good Perception of well-being .
The creative modalities used by art therapy are those related to the creation of visual art, theater, dance... but always within a therapeutic relationship so that a greater part can be drawn from the interpretation and maximum expression of artistic creation.
What does the therapist do?
Professionals working with this type of therapy are trained to use the art and perform a good therapeutic work, as they have received complete training about this field.
They are professionals who are well informed on topics such as human development, theories of psychology and knowledge in clinical practice. They also take into account the culture of each person and the curative potential that art can have.
They not only use art as a treatment, but also use it in evaluating the person and even collecting data for research studies in this field.
They can work with people of all ages, since creativity and emotional expression are qualities that are present in all stages of a person's life.
The therapist can work both individually and with couples, families, groups as well as communities requesting their services.
The work they perform is based on collecting and recognizing those non-verbal symbols and those metaphors that are expressed in a simple way through an artistic and creative process.
Concepts that are expressed during artistic creation may be difficult to express in words or Verbal communication . This is why the professional conducts training that enables him to help and guide people in that process of emotional communication.
Advantages and benefits of art therapy
As I said earlier, art therapy can help the person in processes that serve to resolve conflicts, develop social skills, reduce stress, Increase self-esteem , etc. But specifically I outline below the advantages and benefits that art therapy has over patients or people who practice it.
1- Expression of those feelings that are difficult to verbalize
Sometimes it is difficult for us to express what we feel or what we think, which is why art therapy, as a tool that uses and develops expression, can help you to give shape to those thoughts and feelings that you are harder to let go.
2- Exploration of imagination and creativity
Perhaps by never performing expressive and artistic works, you think that you do not have enough capacity to imagine and create in a simple way, so when using this type of therapy you will be exploring your real capacity to be able to create and to imagine as well as to enhance those capacities By working them in a focused way and with the help of the therapist.
3- Development of healthy coping skills
Facing your feelings and emotions in a creative way can help you to change those behaviors or habits that you have established and that you do whenever you need to express your emotions. For example:
Imagine that you have had a serious mishap that has made you feel desolate and sad. Maybe even if you just want to cry for now, there will come a time in the near future in which you will have to face the emotion and the situation in a healthy way.
So using art therapy when you are going through a sad emotional process trying to use that emotion to create, can help you when facing the situation optimally. It is better to use the energy that moves the feeling than to stay crying over a long period of time and be blocked without knowing what to do.
4- Identification and clarification of issues and concerns
The fact of expressing in the external world that which concerns us internally makes us see in a more practical and accessible those concepts that we can not understand and that only observing us from an external perspective can be integrated into our knowledge. It would be something like ordering on the outside those thoughts that we have disordered in our mind.
5- Improving self-esteem and confidence
The fact of working for and for ourselves, making a process of personal growth, allows us to listen and understand ourselves, thus offering ourselves a positive valuation and favorable self-concept.
In addition to verifying that doing the work for ourselves can achieve a better emotional stability as well as being able to achieve proposed goals makes us increase security ourselves and encourage the thought that we are doing well.
6- Increased communication capacity
By using the artistic modality to express ourselves we acquire new tools to have a good communication with each other as with ourselves. Add that the fact of being able to express what it is difficult for us to verbalize trains us in skills so that in the future we can express ourselves in a clearer way and more in line with what we mean.
Performing personal and therapeutic work in a safe environment. Performing a work from the artistic psychotherapeutic field not only means to express ourselves better emotionally and rediscover ourselves, but also the fact of doing so in a therapeutic context provides us with security during learning and in the development and personal work path.
The therapist is trained so that the person can perform this type of work fully and taking full advantage of the sessions.
7- Improvement of motor skills and physical coordination
Art therapy normally uses the body to express what we can not say, so this type of therapy also favors those people who have difficulty when making or coordinating movements.
Identify those blocks that are present in the person. Only when we try to do something or do we want to get something do we see where those barriers or those limits that exist in us are and make it difficult for us to achieve our goals.
Working from art therapy we will become more aware of these barriers and knowing them we can face them and even knock them down to become the person we are.
8- Art decreases stress and anxiety
To carry out activities related to the art and with the creativity Offers the person an experience in which both the stress level and the anxiety level are reduced. People who perform this type of therapy find such relaxing activities in addition to focusing attention on what we are doing at that time the daily concerns diminish.
Emotional intelligence works because the whole purpose is to know the emotions and express them in a healthy way.
In what difficult processes is the art therapy indicated?
Below I will indicate those processes of life where art therapy is most indicated as therapy. Although do not forget that the benefits can be obtained by anyone.
- Transitions of life and changes.
- Experiences of pain and loss as well as grief.
- Learning and self-care practice of a person.
- Control of stress and anxiety levels.
- Address unresolved conflicts.
- Processes related to depression.
- Difficulties in emotional expression.
- Traumatic experiences as well as damages and accidents.
- Feeling of block and hopelessness.
- Emotional processing of a non-favorable medical diagnosis.
- Feelings of isolation or loneliness.
- Fear and anxiety at the idea of death.
- Substance abuse as well as eating disorders.
- Conflicts related to the concept of identity.
The processes discussed above are those in which art therapy is generally used. Although as you could have read throughout the article, you do not need to have any type of disorder or psychic and mental problem to enjoy this type of psychotherapy. The benefits can be applied to anyone.
And how do you express your emotions?