How Does Art Therapy Help?
Since the beginning of time art has comforted, inspired, and helped us make sense of life. Art Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that is a powerful vehicle for regulating the nervous system and helping the brain design the maps it needs for reflection, healing, recovery and growth. Another research backed benefit is that creative expression reduces the apprehension that can sometimes surround traditional talk therapy methods.
Creative expression also organically relies on the unique preferences, needs and goals of the individual and brings the process of growth and self awareness alive.
There are SO many reasons to try art therapy but perhaps the best reason of all is that it leads to the development of resilience. We know that art is a portal that connects us to our innate ability to integrate hard times by finding meaning and growth on the other side of a challenge. Engaging our creativity with intention is a powerful way to make sense of what’s happened in the past, name where we are in the present, and reflect on what we want our future to hold. Making art alongside others adds another layer of healing connection and community.
Developing even a small art therapy practice lays the foundation for wellbeing and skillful adaptation across the lifespan. All ages can benefit from art therapy and the community it naturally creates. Art is medicine.
What can Art Therapy help with? Here are just a few of the many reasons art therapy is so valuable.
Emotion Exploration and Regulation:
Emotions can be overwhelming and art is an excellent way to express painful feelings while building healthy coping strategies. Using colors, shapes, textures and a variety of techniques allows for safe exploration of emotions and increased capacity for self expression and reflection.
With art, everyone has a seat at the table. Conversations can be difficult to start but structured art activities create common ground through collaboration, community building and individual freedom for self expression. The bond that’s created when we make art together leads to more effective communication and a sense of belonging. Art is also fun! By creating a safe space with a tiny bit of structure and a whole lot of individual choice, participants naturally begin to bond with each other.
Art provides a safe, encouraging environment to help our clients build confidence, self awareness and problem solving skills. The act of creating something brings us to the present moment where we can be in a flow state. When are naturally engaged in a fulfilling activity we become more attuned with our sense of feeling whole. In DBT, we would also refer to that as being connected to Wise mind. People who feel whole have higher self esteem and greater capacity
Art Therapy is available as a primary and adjunct services.