Art is the ultimate form of human expression, ranging from elaborate paintings to a quick scribble. It’s not only been a way to communicate a good story, but to also express an emotion that the artist is feeling.
Because of this, it makes sense that one form of therapy you can try is art therapy. Let’s look at art therapy and what it can mean for you.
What is Art Therapy?
It almost seems like something you’d see from child’s mental health treatment, but art therapy is something that anyone of any age can do.
Art therapy is also good for quite a few mental health issues and conditions. Even someone who is doing well can benefit from it.
While people have been using art as a form of therapy since the invention of the opposable thumb, modern art therapy has been around since the 1940s.
The idea is to have the client draw freely and the therapist looks for interpretation through that art. Quite often, the therapist may notice hidden meanings and other emotions that the artist may not have noticed consciously.
Do I Need to Be Talented?
One part of art therapy you may wonder is if you need have artistic talent. You may believe you should look for another form of therapy if you lack the skills needed.
The answer is that anyone can be an art therapist. You can be someone who draws stick figures and the therapist can still find meaning behind your drawings.
Not only that, but a good art therapist will not only rely on just one form of art. Besides drawing, they may also rely on crafting, collages, or other forms of art.
What Can I Expect?
If you are considering seeking help from an art therapist, you may wonder what exactly you will get out of it.
Art therapists tend to find meaning from your art and allow you to be more mindful of what you draw as well. When you go in, you may be asked what you expect from the therapist and what results you want to have.
A therapist will guide you, but they won’t be a critic. Most art therapists don’t even analyze. The client is told to draw and let their imagination run free.
What Does it Help With?
Art therapy can help with various mental health disorders. If a child is having difficulties with speech, art therapy may be a solution. Kids who have autism, or seniors with dementia, can benefit from art therapy as well.
Depression, anxiety, grief, behavioral issues, trauma, and almost every disorder may see improvement because of art therapy.
Usually, it won’t just be one form of therapy, either. Art therapy can work alongside cognitive behavioral therapy. It also can be its standalone thing.
Art therapy doesn’t have to help with anything, either. That is perhaps its biggest secret. Someone who is doing well in life can go to art therapy, and then learn a few things about themselves. You may end up finding out that there are some emotions that you missed out on.
The Mental Health Benefits of Art
Besides helping people with various mental disorders, art in general is great for one’s mental health. There are several ways that art can help, including:
- It’s relaxing. Art can help you calm down after a long day.
- It’s a mindfulness practice. With art, you tend to be focused on the present and not on your worries that surround you.
- Art can be a skill you learn. While some people seem like they’re natural born artists, there are several who learn later in life.
- Art can be a good way to vent some emotions that you otherwise would have trouble expressing.
- Plus, it’s just an entertaining and quite productive way to spend your free time.
Where Can I Find an Art Therapist?
Just like any other therapist, art therapists can work in hospital, therapy firms, or in their own clinics.
Quite often, general therapists may have homework that can involve drawing. However, it may be more strict. Usually, an art therapist is a little more free-form.
One way you can find an art therapist near you is through online therapy.
Because of technology improving, and due to lockdowns, more people are looking to online therapy. This involves speaking to a therapist through video, text, or voice chat.
Many people love online therapy because it’s much more lenient in regards to scheduling, and one doesn’t have to leave their home.
What about finding an art therapist? Many online therapy websites do have therapists who specialize in art therapy and more.
With art therapy, you may need to do it during a video call session, and make sure that your camera can work. If you are doing text-based sessions, you may need to send the drawing through your phone. It can be a hassle, but in the current environment, it may be for the better.
If you’re looking for an art therapist online, one place you can turn to is BetterHelp. They have several types of licensed therapists, and one of them is an art therapist. You can learn how to interpret your emotions, then find a way to regulate them as you wish.
Art therapy can be quite good for anyone of any age. The ability to express yourself and be able to show off some good art in the process can come natural. However, if you’re not talented, there are still many benefits of art therapy.
We say to give it a try and see if it’s for you. You may end finding that even if you’re not that talented, you can find quite a bit of value as an art therapist. If it doesn’t work, the best part about therapy is that there are many paths that you can take in the long run that will allow you to get the most out of your mental health.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.
Feature Pic By Zinkevych