What is Art Therapy?
The definition of art therapy according to the American Art Therapy Association is “the use of art media as a therapeutic process by which patients can explore feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, develop social skills, improve self-esteem, and achieve insight.” In other words, art therapy is a form of therapy that uses art as a way to help people deal with their emotions and mental health.
There are a few reasons why art therapy can be beneficial. First, art is a way for people to express themselves when they might not be able to express themselves in words. This can be beneficial for people who are struggling to communicate their thoughts and feelings. Additionally, art can be a way for people to explore difficult emotions and thoughts that they might not be comfortable discussing in words.
Another benefit of art therapy is that it can be a non-judgmental space. People can explore different aspects of themselves without feeling like they are being judged. Additionally, art can be a way to connect with
History and Development of Art Therapy
Art therapy is believed to have originated in the 1940s when doctors working in psychiatric hospitals began to use art as a form of treatment for their patients. At the time, there was a growing belief that mental illness could be treated through creative expression.
The first art therapy program was established at the University of London in the 1950s. The program was designed to train art therapists to work with patients with mental health issues.
The first art therapy program in the United States was established in the late 1950s at the University of Illinois.
The first art therapy certification program in the United States was established in 1971.
The first art therapy textbook was published in 1974.
The first art therapy organization, the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), was established in 1979.
The first art therapy graduate program in the United States was established in 1985.
The first art therapy research journal, the Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association,
Health issues treated by Art Therapy
There are many different health issues that can be treated with art therapy. Some of these issues include, but are not limited to, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, and addiction.
One of the benefits of art therapy is that it allows people to communicate what they are feeling, thinking, and experiencing, without having to use words. This can be especially helpful for people who are struggling to express themselves verbally. Art therapy can also help people to explore their feelings and emotions in a safe and non-judgmental environment.
Another benefit of art therapy is that it can be a very effective way to manage stress and anxiety. Art can be a way to release tension and stress, and it can also help to improve moods.
Finally, art therapy can be a helpful tool for people who are struggling with addiction. Art can be a way for people to express their feelings about their addiction, and it can also be
Art Therapy Exercise
There are many art therapy exercises that can be useful for individuals. Below are four examples of art therapy exercises with references to how they can be beneficial.
1. Expressive Drawing
Expressive drawing can be used to help individuals express their emotions and thoughts. In expressive drawing, individuals are encouraged to draw what they are feeling or thinking, without concern for the quality of the drawing. This can be helpful for individuals who find it difficult to express their thoughts and feelings verbally. The act of drawing can help to stimulate the brain and can be cathartic, providing individuals with an outlet for their emotions. (1)
Collage can be used to help individuals explore their feelings and beliefs. In collage, individuals are encouraged to create a collage that represents their life at the present time. This can be a very personal exercise, allowing individuals to explore their thoughts and feelings about their life. The act of creating a collage can help