"When we are in pain, we become self-centered and myopic.
When we heal, we become more empathetic, self-less,
and sympathetic to the pain and welfare of others.
It is our gift to others to heal ourselves."
The use of artistic methods to treat and enhance mental health is known as art therapy. Art therapy is a technique rooted in the idea that creative expression can foster healing and mental well-being.
People have been relying on the arts to communicate, express themselves, and heal for thousands of years. But art therapy didn't start to become a formal program until the 1940s. Doctors noted that individuals suffering from mental illness often expressed themselves in drawings and other artworks, which led many to explore the use of art as a healing strategy.
The goal of art therapy is to utilize the creative process to access the subconscious and to help you explore self-expression and, in doing so, find new ways to gain personal insight and develop new coping skills.
Art, either creating it or viewing others' art, is used to help people explore emotions, develop self-awareness, cope with stress, boost self-esteem, and work on social skills. As clients create art, they may analyze what they have made and how it makes them feel.
Through exploring their art, people can look for themes and conflicts that may be affecting their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
Why does art therapy help?
Art therapy assists in processing undigested memories so that people can begin to process and recover from whatever happened to them.
When words have failed to articulate what needs to be expressed, or when speaking of traumas is too painful, the act of conceiving an art piece can bring up repressed emotions, fears , disturbing thought patterns and internal conflicts in a gentle way.
By externalizing the unconscious through building a bridge for telling stories in an art form, people can begin to process and heal trauma.
Techniques used in art therapy may include: