What is Art Therapy?
Art therapy is defined as the therapeutic use of creating art with individuals who have been diagnosed with certain illnesses or trauma. It is beneficial for those who wanted to improve their overall well-being by making art and expressing themselves through their work and the process of creating it. Art therapy centers on enhancing one’s cognitive abilities and self-awareness.
History of Art Therapy
Ever since then, the visual expression has been linked to a successful healing process but it was in the 1940s when art therapy was known as a profession. During the early 20th century, psychiatrists were intrigued by the artwork of their patients who suffered from mental illness. Teachers also noticed that the art expressions of their young students depicted emotional, developmental, and cognitive growth. Contemporary artists like Braque, Miro, Picasso, and Dubuffet also utilized this child-like method to express psychological dispositions and perspectives in their masterpiece.
In mid-century, rehabilitation centers, clinics, and hospitals incorporated art therapy in their program to increase health, recovery, and wellness. As of the present, it is practiced in healthcare facilities in the United States and within arts, education, psychology, psychiatry, and counseling.
Art therapists are professional degree holders who are experts in art therapy and other related fields. They are trained in both therapy and art. They are skilled in clinical practice, psychological theories, human development, multicultural, spiritual, and artistic traditions, and the healing capacity of art. They utilize art during the assessment, treatment, and research. Art therapists work with different kinds of patients including individuals, families, couples, groups, and communities. They can as an individual or in teams, within wellness centers, outreach programs, nursing homes, schools, incorporate structure, independent practices or open studios.
Art Therapy Patients
Art therapy benefits hospitalized children, adults, teens, elderly and mentally ill patients. Usually, they are diagnosed with anxiety, depression, fear, and developmental challenges and making art helped them express themselves in a way that will improve their dysfunctions.
The elder patients, especially those who are suffering from Alzheimer’s can respond to painting, drawing, and sculpting. These art methods helped them take back their lost senses. It also improved their brain and memory function. In fact, there’s a program in New York called “Meet and Moma,” where patients with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers tour inside the Museum of Modern Art. This activity boosts the quality of their lives and invigorates their minds.
Furthermore, art therapy also assists prisoners in releasing their fears, fits of anger, and resentments. By art-making, they establish a sense of self-awareness and realize their reason for doing an illicit act. It also allows them to learn a new skill that could improve their lives and the lives of other people.
Art and the process of making it offer harmony, confidence, and pleasure to patients who are dealing with any physical and mental disorder. By doing painting, sculpting, drawing, and other creative methods, deep-rooted feelings emerge in a nurturing environment. With this, patients are able to express their fears and overcome challenges through art therapy.
Featured and 1st image from ttps://pixabay.com/photos/hands-words-meaning-fingers-423794/
2nd image from https://pixabay.com/photos/art-art-supplies-artist-blue-brush-1478831/