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Mental Health
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Art Therapy As An Alternative Approach To Mental Health Care

In recent years, there has been growing awareness about issues of mental health. In fact, the past few years have seen leading celebrities, sports stars, politicians as well as some leading entrepreneurs come out and speak on mental health issues and care. 

The growing awareness has resulted in more and more people coming forward and seeking help for their issues and problems. From seeking individual one-on-one sessions with mental health therapists to opting for group therapy sessions, individuals are seeking help.

However, what needs to be pointed out is the fact that just like every individual has a different set of issues. the treatment plans for mental health are also varied. This means that while one treatment plan works for one individual, there is no guarantee it will work for someone else. 

In this article, we are going to look at one of the most interesting treatment approaches to mental health- art therapy for adult & youth. We are going to look at what it means and discuss some of its major benefits for individuals. 

Art Therapy: Meaning and Definition

The first thing that you should know about Art Therapy is that it is an integrative mental health approach towards addressing mental health concerns and issues. Art therapy is facilitated by trained and experienced professionals that use creative processes and functions to resolve deep-seated emotions, feelings, problems, and grievances. 

According to leading art therapy professionals, this treatment plan and approach is great for improving our sensory and motor functions, improving self-esteem, developing emotional strength, learning conflict resolution, and developing social skills in a way that is not overwhelming. 

The best institutions which offer art therapy combine the best principles of psychotherapy with the infinite possibilities of the creative arts. The key is to rely on the channels of expressionism. While you may not be comfortable talking about childhood trauma, you might be willing to express it through a drawing, sculpting, or simply destroying a clay model!

The Following Are Some Mental Health Issues and Concerns That Art Therapy Will Be Best at Addressing

  1. Children or teenagers witnessing the divorce or separation of their parents
  2. Losing a family pet, a close relative, or even a childhood friend
  3. Suffering from sexual abuse and harassment at a very young age
  4. Experiencing and being imprisoned in a toxic and violent relationship

Leading Benefits of Art Therapy as Outlined by Mental Health Experts

In this section, we are going to outline some of the major benefits of Art Therapy as espoused by leading mental health experts- 

Expression of Tough Personal and Difficult Experiences

If you are someone that has experienced trauma at some point in your life, you will know how difficult it is to process the same. Neither can you talk about the same with someone, or completely erase it from your memory. In such instances, art therapy offers a constructive approach for you to release those feeling without words and in a creative manner. 

Build Personal Reliance, Self-control, and Management Mechanisms

By pursuing art therapy, individuals can hope to become self-reliant as far as coming to terms with their emotions. In most situations, you are clueless about what you should do when difficult feelings come to your head. With art therapy, you know what you should do and this approach provides a constructive outlet to your difficult feelings. 

Helps People Fight Chronic Illnesses and Diseases

In some path-breaking studies done on cancer victims, art therapy was found to instill a sense of self-confidence and positivity. While you should not consider art therapy as a positive distraction that takes the pain away, engaging with creative fields has a calming effect on the mind. This in turn helps boost immunity and allows for better chances of recovery from illness. 

Benefits Children That Might Have Learning Difficulties

Specially-abled children might not be able to perform as well as normal children when it comes to developing motor and sensory skills. By working with experts in art therapy, they will be in a position to improve hand-eye coordination, as well as become more expressive in their everyday lives. One of the best approaches to helping autism has been found to be through art therapy. 

The Final Takeaway

One of the best things about this form of treatment is that it works according to an individual’s request. You do not have to be an expert in the creative fields. You just need to demonstrate the willingness to use the art materials to express yourself in any which way you like. This is the medium, the connection that you will be making with your life. If you would like us to assist you in any other way, please let us know in the comments below. 

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