Art therapy is a relatively modern form of therapy for treating several personal issues, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, relationship struggles, eating disorders, and more. Today, art is embraced by the healthcare community as a legitimate form of treatment, but one doesn’t have to be an artist or under a therapist’s guidance to participate. For people struggling with personal issues at home, here are four therapeutic benefits of art.
Sometimes words aren’t enough to properly express complex feelings like sadness, grief, or self-doubt. In such cases, making art can help people release these feelings by pouring them out into their art. Moreover, the physical act of making art has the additional benefit of providing stress relief. In short, art exists as a possible emotional outlet for everybody, not just the mentally or physically ill.
Getting in Touch With Emotions
On the other end of the spectrum, people disconnected from their thoughts and feelings can forge that connection through art. Those struggling with this issue have trouble defining their emotions through words. Art provides an alternative way to explore and unearth any repressed feelings and memories without relying on words alone.
For many people, the act of simply finishing a task is therapeutic in and of itself. A lot goes into completing an art piece, whether it’s a sculpture, a painting, or a song. The artist must imagine their finished piece, set their intention, and practice patience and discipline to work on their project. With so many mediums to create with, art also presents an opportunity to master a new skill. Setting goals and achieving them contributes to confidence and self-appreciation, two vital components of a person’s self-esteem.
Overall, exposure to art is shown to boost a person’s sense of happiness and well-being. Since the 1940s, countless therapists have harnessed the power of art to help their patients suffering from various disorders, ranging from anxiety to schizophrenia. This assertion is even backed by science, according to a 2014 study on creativity that found measurable increases in dopamine levels after art therapy.