Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy in which one’s creative self-expression is tapped into as an avenue for managing one’s mental wellness. With the utilization of creative expression, clients are afforded the opportunity to put meaning to the indescribable.
- Historical Facts: Although contemporary art therapy is a fairly new practice, art has been used since the beginning of human history as a medium for communicating thoughts and ideas (Art Therapy Journal). It wasn’t noted until the 1940s as becoming used for therapeutic benefit eventually working its way into increasing one’s mental health. Noted pioneers in the development of art therapy are psychologist Margaret Naumberg and Dr. Edith Kramer.
- Art Therapy Specifics: Utilizing creative techniques such as painting, drawing, clay, sculpture, etc. individuals are working on connecting to their mental, physical and emotional self…all in an effort to thrive. While receiving services surrounding one’s overall stability seems daunting the act of creating focuses on human experience and therefore lends itself to a holistic approach to healing.
- Benefits: Common misconception is that art therapy can only benefit a specific population or those with creative talent…untrue. Art therapy can benefit anyone seeking healing and understanding. Creatively expressing oneself can reduce a number of difficulties including stress, anxiety, depression, anger, etc in addition to increasing one’s ability to provide ongoing self-care.