How does Art Therapy help improve mental health?
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
Art Therapy works on several levels: physical, psychological and neurological. Our first language is visual, we first learn to know the world through what we see, Art Therapy taps into our visual language helping us to describe our world through images and pictures. This can be a helpful way to express experiences, thoughts and feelings that we have difficulty putting into words.
Finding ways to express ourselves visually can be empowering and improve self-confidence. By sharing those experiences with a therapist we can start the healing process or find ways to solve challenges confronting us.
Art Therapists are experienced artists and mental health practitioners. As such they can help you develop new creative skills and learn how to use different art materials. Learning new skills can be empowering and enhance our problem solving skills, this in turn helps lower anxiety.
Art Therapy can be fun and relaxing but it can also be challenging and hard work.
There are a couple of misconceptions about Art Therapy. One is that you need to know how to use art materials. You don't. Art Therapy is about the process, not the product. Another common misconception is that the therapist interprets the artwork. This is not the case, only you can interpret your artwork. This misconception came about through early psychoanalysts who believed they could interpret people's artworks. It is not common practice among contemporary Art Therapists.