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Art As A Therapy Method

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Art therapy is a creative process which involves a form of expression aimed at reconciling unresolved emotional conflicts, improving a person’s general state of mind and boosting his/her social skills and self-esteem. While art therapy can achieve a lot of things for different people, it is important to know when to use particular art media as therapy. This will ensure that the aim of rehabilitation, healing or treatment is achieved to the best extent possible.
Let us take a look at different techniques and tools used by art therapists to ensure their aim or target is achieved.

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Collage

Some individuals would not want to commit themselves to making paper markings as art seems a scary process to them. Yet, complex thoughts and emotions are hardly passed down effectively in their culture for these people. This underlines the importance of collage techniques. In this process, the art therapist uses digital images, magazine photos, or other materials they have access to from pamphlets, books etc to guide their client.

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Phototherapy

What the eyes see in pictures last a long time in the memory. Photographs go a long way to evoke the emotions and feelings of a client. Therefore, the importance of phototherapy cannot be overemphasized.

Family Sculpture

In many traditions, clay and other types of materials for sculpture have been used by art therapists. Recently, however, the family sculpture has been used to greater effect more often. Family sculpture involves having the client sculpt each family member or make a representation of each member of the family.
The representations brought by the client reflect the personalities of each member of the family. An example of such is where a large figure symbolizes an overbearing parent. This gives the art therapist and client a better understanding of the family structure and how this has affected the client, perhaps contributing to the current issues the client may have.

Digital art

This form of art therapy is the newest and most common form, however, it is yet to be studied empirically to know the extent of its therapeutic effectiveness.
Nonetheless, the changes in culture instituted by digital art demands that therapists are always open to digital art as a big alternative in the art therapy industry.

BENEFITS OF ART THERAPY

Over time, art therapy has been shown to benefit different categories of people. The positive effect of art therapy may often be achieved by those facing issues ranging from cognitive impairments, stress, depression, cancer, anxiety, bulimia, anorexia to even other eating disorders.
It is believed that art therapy is particularly helpful for those who feel out of touch with their emotions or feelings, for this reason, art therapy allows people to express feelings on any matter through creative work rather than with writing or speech.
Recent research works suggest art therapy may help individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia to experience some level of relief, although this is yet to be concluded.
Art therapy is easily accessible and most times impacts directly to the individuals involved.
Owing to the fact that there are no side effects of art therapy, it could also be said to be the best form of medicine.

What are you waiting to get started? Try starting with a journal so you can document your journey.

Have you started already? Would you like to share the benefits of using art as a therapeutic method or just how you feel when you are creating some art? Please share your story with us in the comments section and inspire someone today.

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Art As A Therapy Method, the art & craft therapy room

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