Art Therapy: a creative solution for psychological distress

Art Therapy: a creative solution for psychological distress
Art therapy is a method of expression that makes use of various artistic fields for emotional and psychological healing. Art therapy can be used as a therapeutic tool in two different manners, either by focusing on the art-making process as a therapeutic act or by focusing on an analysis of the patient’s work of art to reveal hidden aspects of their psyche.

The psychoanalytic approach is commonly employed in art therapy, as art therapists will often look for psychological clues in both how and what their patient creates. Art therapy can also be used in family therapy where family units come together and create art with the therapeutic guidance of their therapist as a healthy way of bringing up relationship issues.

Art therapy is based on a foundation of humanism, which is the celebration of the human spirit, creativity, healing of destructive emotions, improving self-awareness, and urging personal growth. It can be found in many settings besides clinical rooms. This form of creative therapy is popular in art studios, personal development workshops, children’s camps and more. 

There is no limit to the type of art from one can utilise to express themselves in an art therapy session. Dance and movement or drama can be used as a type of physically expressive art, while more traditional modes of creativity can also be used, such as painting, drawing and sculpture.

One of the most beneficial aspects of art therapy is that it does not require talent or a natural artistic inclination to be practiced. The aim of art therapy is to remove any self-imposed limits due to shyness or feelings of inadequacy and to instead focus on how emotional and thoughts can be channelled in a healthy manner through creativity.