In the 1940s, doctors noted that individuals suffering from various mental disorders often communicated or processed emotions through artwork. This led many to explore the healing properties of art and develop a way to utilize creativity to assess and treat patients.
Art therapy merges therapeutic techniques with the creative process to improve mental, emotional, and physical wellness. Through mediums like drawing, painting, coloring, sculpting, and collage, patients are able to dive deeper into emotions they may be unable to vocalize or process fully.
Unlike physical exercise which simply engages the body or meditation that focuses only on the mind, art therapy engages both to promote holistic healing. Those who may be bogged down by their situation or mental illness can feel grounded and present by what they create. In most cases, art therapy is used in conjunction with other therapeutic techniques such as group therapy or individual counseling.
Unlike typical art classes, sessions with a trained art therapist focus less on technique and more on a person’s experiences. Patients are encouraged to make artwork that reflects their inner world. For someone who has gone through a traumatic event, an art therapist may ask them to draw side-by-side portraits of themselves before and after the trauma. Together, the therapist and patient can unpack the artwork and give the patient time to focus on their own feelings and point of view.
Some situations and conditions that can be treated through art therapy include:
If you are looking for treatment or want to learn more about alternatives like art therapy, get in contact with one of our trained clinicians today.
Walking through the doors of a center like Valley Oaks for the first can be tough. We work hard to make sure that your visit is easy, streamlined, and professional while still addressing your needs. The reality is that more folks are seeking help than you’d ever imagine, and for good reason. More than 80% of folks that seek help for common mental health ailments see significant improvement. Your journey to life’s peaks can start right now… and start right here… at Valley Oaks.
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