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What Is Art Therapy | Read Our Article to Know What Is Art Therapy Used For

19.04.2021
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What Is Art Therapy

Art therapy is creative healing. This means that in psychology, art therapy through creative self-realization allows a person to find harmony with himself and the world, relieve psycho-emotional stress. This method of psychocorrection allows you to establish a connection between the conscious sphere of a person and his subconscious. This is a kind of bridge between the unconscious sphere and the mind.

art therapy

Define Art Therapy

Art therapy methods are based on a metaphor that reveals the reasons for certain negative behavioral deviations, failures in the nervous system. A person with the help of various materials creates an image of his problem and, under the guidance of a psychologist, works with him. In addition to metaphor, pantomime is used in art therapy techniques: through movements to music or while listening to a fairy tale, the soul is healed. Various directions of creativity remove blocks of consciousness from the emotional sphere, allowing a person to work through negative experiences.

What Is Art Therapy Used For

Art therapy is used as a method for correcting emotional states. It is a creative method of expression used as a therapeutic technique. It originated at the intersection of art and psychotherapy.

Why Is Art Therapy Important

The creative process associated with self-expression can help people solve problems, as well as manage behavior and feelings, reduce stress, and increase self-esteem. And in order to engage in art therapy and receive benefits, you do not need to be a talented and gifted artist.

Art therapy in psychology is also used as a diagnostic method. Due to individual characteristics, some people find it difficult to verbalize their problems. For example, children are not aware of the presence of problems in their emotional state at all. To understand the psycho-emotional state of a person, a psychologist is helped by projective techniques, which are variations of art therapy techniques.

what is art therapy

History of Art Therapy

I will briefly describe the history of the emergence and development of the method.

What field of science does art therapy belong to? Of course, to psychology. When did art therapy begin? The history of the method began with the psychoanalytic school. It is believed that in the process of engaging in creativity, emotions, and feelings of a person, his life values ​​and guidelines, as well as unconscious mental states of the individual, find a way out.

Who coined the term “art therapy”? The art therapy definition was coined by A. Hill. He also formulated the definition and basic provisions of art therapy. His patients relieved their anxiety by painting. A. Hill is considered the founder of classical types of art therapy.

The founder of healing art therapies is Margaret Naumburg, who used creative assignments to correct various abnormalities in children with mental retardation. After World War II, art and therapy began to be used in rehabilitation work with children. And in 1969, an association of psychologists appeared in the United States, which engaged in a detailed study of the psychocorrectional capabilities of various areas of art. Today, the American Association for Art Therapy is considered the largest union of specialists in the field of this area of ​​psychology and art therapy.

Purpose of Art Therapy

In psychology, the goal of art therapy is to create conditions for the creative self-expression of a person, for a person to find harmony with himself and with the world. Therapy through art is focused on normalizing the psychoemotional state of a person, correcting excitation processes in the nervous system, and correcting behavior.

Method Objectives

The tasks of art therapy are determined by the client’s request. What we should know about art therapy tasks:

  • in-depth diagnostics of the client’s personality;
  • help a person realize the problem and express their experiences using one technique or another;
  • help cope with phobias and panic attacks;
  • help the client find out his personality traits and teach how to use them;
  • together with the patient, determine the cause of depression, depression, personal anxiety;
  • train clients in introspection skills;
  • teach to cope with feelings of guilt, help to abandon the position of the victim;
  • to increase the self-esteem of the individual;
  • to teach a person to work out negative emotions, to form his resistance to stress through the development of relaxation techniques;
  • to form effective models of behavior in the client;
  • contribute to the harmonization of the patient’s relationship with others, colleagues, family members;
  • develop socially useful personality traits of the client;
  • develop creativity and the ability to think outside the box;
  • to form an aesthetic taste.

Examples of tasks of art therapy show the scale of this trend in psychology. This is the reason for the emergence of various types of art therapy. These tasks help to correctly build art therapy meaning.

Using Art As Therapy

healing art therapies

Paper plastic, quilling, origami, appliqué. These types of creativity use the nerve endings found in the fingertips. Such exercises have a positive effect on the nervous system, help to normalize the emotional background.

Visual art therapy. Fine art therapy techniques. This type includes all techniques that are associated with withdrawing in a circle. Does art therapy work? In the process of creating a picture, the individual’s own “I” finds a way out. When analyzing completed illustrations, psychologists pay great attention to the color scheme. For example, if a client in a depressed emotional state paints a mandala, he will unconsciously choose dark blue and green shades for it. If a similar task is performed by a hyperactive child, then red, orange, and yellow shades will prevail in the drawing.

This area includes projective pictorial psychological tests. For example, if a child has a conflict with one of his relatives, he will “forget” to draw this family member on his sheet.

Also known about art therapy in the form of clay therapy. According to the definition of psychotherapists, clay is the best material for art therapy, which opens up the depths of the unconscious sphere of the psyche. How does art therapy work? When a person sculpts clay figures, he works out his problems. Modeling increases self-confidence, develops creativity, teaches a person to compromise in an argument, helps an individual to forget grievances, and improves relationships with loved ones.

How is art therapeutic related to music? The technique is used to optimize the emotional background. The therapist recommends the client to listen to certain musical compositions, and then a discussion takes place. The therapist asks the client questions: “What emotions did the music evoke?”, “What images arose during the sound of a piece of music?”, “What changes were noted in the body: a feeling of warmth, relaxation appeared? Or, on the contrary, the muscles were in a tense state? ” The customer’s responses enable the technician to understand the root cause of the problem and determine how to fix it. A variant of music therapy is a person’s independent play on a particular musical instrument. Art therapy specialists use an interesting task: involve clients in drawing music. This simple exercise helps adults and children express feelings and experiences on paper and then analyze them with the help of a psychologist.

Art Therapy Information

What institutions can offer art therapy classes? Such courses can be organized in kindergarten, at school, in psychological centers, in the field of additional education, in daycare centers for the elderly. In recent years, art therapy has been widely used in medicine.

Why art therapy should be performed only by specialists? Only qualified psychologists and psychotherapists have the right to teach art therapy classes. In addition to a diploma in psychological education, a specialist must have a certificate of completion of courses in creativity therapy.

In an individual form, creative psychotherapeutic sessions can be conducted in short courses (3-5 sessions). This format allows you to successfully cope with simple psychological and pedagogical problems.

If a person is in severe depression, he has the post-traumatic syndrome, there are mental abnormalities, then he needs long-term systematic work with a psychotherapist. In this case, the course of creativity therapy will consist of 15-30 sessions. For a lasting positive effect of creativity, you will need additional drug therapy. Psychotherapists and psychiatrists can choose the right medications.

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