Today psychologists use the arts to improve the mental health of patients and even for the treatment of serious mental disorders. This method is called "art therapy".
In art therapy the creative process of making art is combined with the specialized psychotherapeutic techniques, with the result that patients cannot solve their psychological problems, reduce stress, learn to manage their behavior, develop interpersonal skills, to come to self-awareness and master self-control.
As a form of therapy art therapy is beginning to stand out even in the 1940s, when psychiatrists became interested in the paintings made by the patients with mental disorders, and the educators have noticed that in the artistic creativity of children is often clearly visible the progress of their cognitive and emotional development.
As it turned out, art therapy a very positive effect on some groups of people, in particular:
— adults in a state of severe stress;
— children with special educational needs;
— people who have experienced a traumatic experience;
— people with mental health disorders;
— people who have undergone brain surgery;
— children with problems of socialization and behavior at home or school;
— people of any age suffering from depression, anxiety, or experiencing violence at home.
What is art therapy
Art therapy is not a form of recreation and not classes where people are taught to create objects of art. for the treatment of such patient does not need to have artistic abilities.
And most importantly — in the course of art therapy the therapist does not interpreted works created by the patient, because his goal is to teach people how to heal through art.
How this method works
In art therapy usually resort to drawing, collage and sculpting. For the patient creates a safe and comfortable atmosphere in which he feels safe and the therapist, or sets a theme for the work, or offers to act on their own - so to speak, on souls.
In the process, the patient is deeply considering your past experience or relive the event, translating thoughts into visual symbols and metaphorical images.
Creating their own unique art objects, he is able to portray and embody the images as he imagines them, which is very important for psychological healing and self-discovery.
And not surprising - because only he knows what message are its characters, and can explain it.
The process of transferring personal experience of the inner world in the outside in the form of objects of art helps one to step back from their experience to more freely and boldly to describe their problems.
In other words, instead of directly telling the therapist about their emotional traumas (which is extremely difficult and sometimes impossible), the patient talks about his painting or sculpture. And gradually in this lesson he begins to better understand, feel and perceive yourself.
More about the benefits of art therapy
Art therapy brings great benefit and in addition to enhancing self-knowledge and self-acceptance, namely:
— A person has to participate actively in this process which allows us very successfully to stave off boredom, apathy and loneliness.
— The person is encouraged to take decisions and make choices.
— Stimulates creativity, and the person begins to respond differently to difficult from his point of view, situations and problems.
— There is a catharsis - the release negative emotions.
— Man acquires the skills of interpersonal and social communication.
Not just painting
Today, therapists use such methods of art therapy, like music, dance, writing, theater arts (which is called creative art therapy) and performance (expressive art therapy).
The uniqueness of art therapy is that the sessions, the patient plays in the therapeutic process active role. Expressing your thoughts in works of art and artistic symbols, the person is healed and comes to know itself better in his own pace.
Source: Art Therapy As A Way Of Healing For Drug Addiction Treatment