Art therapy, also referred to as creative arts therapy, uses visual arts to communicate feelings that cannot be expressed by words alone.
A lot of people have little understanding about the purpose, principles and origins of art therapy. We decided to write this article to broaden your knowledge of art therapy and see how it can benefit you.
Art therapy dates back to 1940
Margaret Naumburg, the founder of art therapy, was the first to define the art therapy as a distinct form psychotherapy. She began using it to help people with psychological problems. In addition to talking to her clients, she had them drawing their dreams.
The movement began in 1967 with the establishment of the Art Therapy Studio in Cleveland, Ohio. Today, the American Art Therapy Association represents more than 5,000 professional art therapists who are dedicated in helping people with emotional problems through art.
Who benefits from art therapy?
Art therapy can be done individually or in groups. It is beneficial for people of all ages, from young kids to elderly. Art therapy can help people who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, children with learning abilities and individuals who are depressed. A person is not required to be good at art to benefit from this program.
How does it differ from other forms of therapy?
Just like all forms of therapy, art therapy is designed to improve a person’s sense of well-being. The only difference is that art therapy promotes healing in a positive and creative environment.
Art therapy is a very rich avenue for self expression. It opens up avenues of communication that extends beyond verbal language. In addition to talk therapy, clients are encouraged to express their feelings, reactions and responses through painting, drawing and sculpting. This can be very helpful for people, young or old, who find it extremely difficult to express what’s inside of them.
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