Art Therapy uses art materials, the creative process, and/or the finished art product as a tool to help facilitate change in a wide variety of ways. It is important to note that you do not need prior experience using art materials or creating art to participate in and gain value from Art Therapy! By utilizing the art making process and finished product in sessions, individuals can move freely between verbal and non-verbal communication. This adds a layer of depth and richness to the therapeutic relationship. Some of the many wonderful benefits of Art Therapy include:
- Experiential: Creating art can be a metaphor for real life issues.
- Involves rituals: Comforts, Calms, Repairs, and Heals
- Preverbal thinking and feeling: Creating art is a direct expression of inner experiences that are difficult to put into words. When an individual experiences trauma, it can be difficult to access language to express feeling states. Non-verbal communication, or engaging in art making, can at times be more accessible or reachable than verbal communication.
- Spontaneous and uncensored material: Art Therapy allows the unconscious feelings to be brought into the light and explored.
- Objectification and projection: Art Therapy works to separate the self from issue. The individual can project onto the object in a safe manner.
- Permanence: Art work exists in the real world and cannot be changed or forgotten.
- Creates tangible piece: The art product can be used as transitional object. It can be symbolic.
- Engagement in art making can lead to discussion and deeper commitment to the therapeutic process.
- Opportunity to play: This can have a positive impact on both the mind and body, it improves the quality of life, reduces perception of pain and fatigue, and can reduce stress.
- Increased positive self regard: Art making builds resilience and increases self esteem.
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