Art therapy helps people express their feelings, and an art therapist is there to guide you through a creative process that can help you explore your emotions. You may have noticed that there are a lot of adult coloring books. Why do you think that is? There’s something about coloring that is relaxing for people. It soothes anxiety or helps people feel distracted from depressive thoughts. Coloring is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how art can help people with their mental health. Art therapy can help clients to understand their inner world. It can aid people in treatment for substance abuse, anxiety, depression, and more. It can even help individuals develop social skills; sometimes, art therapy is conducted in groups.
Who does art therapy help?
Art therapy can help a variety of people. It can help people that are having behavioral issues, clients that are experiencing social anxiety, and sometimes, art therapy even allows couples to confront the problems in their relationship and resolve them. It depends on what your psychological or life issues are, but art therapy can help people with a multitude of different problems.
Where can you find an art therapist?
The answer to this question is “many places.” sometimes, art therapists work in residential treatment facilities. They can be found in hospitals, elder care (such as senior citizen communities), and you may see them at research centers or even juvenile detention facilities. Art therapists also frequently work with clients in individual settings. Group settings are great for art therapy because clients learn from one another, and it can be calming to be around others who are also engaging in art therapy. Group art therapy has been around since the 1940s and therapists can help people within groups because what happens is that clients will create projects and therapists will interpret them. It can be used as a diagnostic tool; some art therapists might be able to diagnose a mental illness using art therapy techniques. The idea is that there’s a lot of nonverbal communication happening and that people will have a lot of internal feelings that come out during the artistic process. The therapist examines the different projects and then interpret them.
Sample art therapy exercises
In a group of adolescents, this is a simple art therapy exercise, and it can be conducted with adults as well. People cut out a variety of pictures and different shapes and put them into a collage. Everyone’s collage will look different, and the therapist will have an opportunity to give feedback on what they see in the client’s collages.
Making a mask can help people get into repressed emotions that they might not have recognized before the session. Carl Jung believed that there were dark aspects of human personality that we try to repress, and those things can come out of hiding when a client works on a masking exercise. When clients are finished making a mask, they can engage in imaginative play, and the group can develop relationships with each other’s masks or do a dramatic exercise.
There are many different other art therapy exercises that people can do. It depends on what the goal of the group is. Psychiatrist Irvin Yalom believes that people could learn from one another in group settings and that one of the most significant components of group therapy is altruism, meaning that members of the group can share their different strengths. It can help group members develop self-confidence and self-worth.
Online therapy is an excellent place in which you can talk about your feelings, and you might even be able to work with an art therapist online. Your art therapist can give you assignments, and help you create different projects to talk about every week. Whether you work with someone online or in your local area, art therapy is an excellent way to get in touch with your feelings.
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