We’ve covered a wide range of artistic themes in this online magazine. We’ve talked about how to paint your nails as a fashion accessory. We’ve also introduced famous artists–like Hamburg photographer Kai Ziehl. If you remember, his black-and-white photographs captured stunning architectural images.
Still, art is more than creating beautiful or interesting things. It’s also about creating you. The artist transforms through the act of creative expression. Sometimes these changes can run deep. Art can improve mental health and offer profound emotional healing. Many studies have explored the value of art therapy. They found that it eases mood disorders, restores self-esteem, and even helps with phobias.
The Focus of Art Therapy
The focus of art therapy is not creating beautiful, inspiring, or paradigm-shifting art. That may happen but it is not the focus.
Instead, the focus is on embarking on a therapeutic journey through art. The only thing that matters is that someone feels serene or happy through the act of creation.
The World of Art Therapy
You may enter the world of art therapy as an art therapist or as a client. You may also design your own art therapy project for self-healing.
As a client, you will enjoy the rewards of art therapy. You will experience emotional relief from stress and relief from your life situation.
As a therapist, you will enjoy the rewards of improving someone’s life as you guide them through a process of self-renewal.
As a therapist you may also assume the role of a teacher. If you do, one thing you have to be careful not to do is to improve the art. Although you may have the best of intentions, you will short-circuit the healing process.
An example will make this clear: Jessie has Angelman Syndrome. Whenever she comes home from art therapy, Mary Kay, her mother knows when someone has sabotaged her daughter’s healing journey.
“The first clue is that the work is too precise,” writes Mary Kay in an Angelman Syndrome News’s article entitled “Whose Art is it Anyway?” . “The second clue is Jessie doesn’t care to show it. There’s no sense of pride with something she didn’t make….”
Talent Is Optional
When most people think of art, they believe that someone has some talent. But talent is not important when doing art therapy.
Not that talent doesn’t emerge. Indulging in a creative act will make you better at it. The more you do it, the better you’ll get. But talent is a secondary, even incidental.
Benefits of Art Therapy You can’t underestimate the healing power of art.
Here are a few of its benefits:
· You’ll experience a dopamine hit, the feel-good hormone. Increased levels of this neurotransmitter will reduce anxiety and depression.
· You’ll experience a boost in self-esteem as you express your creativity.
· You’ll enjoy a safe and healthy outlet for your suppressed emotions.
· You’ get a better sense of your own power to control outcomes.
· You’ll learn how to communicate better with other people.
The focus of art therapy is not to create something beautiful or inspiring, and its purpose is not to nurture talent.
Creating art will stimulate right brain thinking, which is creative and imaginative. It will also stimulate feel-good hormones to down regulate any mood disorders. The main thing to remember about art therapy is that it’s not about creating something. Instead, it’s about rebuilding a client’s self-esteem or reinventing yourself from the inside-out.
Art therapy promotes mental and emotional healing. You can work with a licensed art therapist or start your own self-healing project.