Through different artistic expressions such as painting, art therapy explores the unconscious of the person, allowing him to express himself or herself, find a solution to his or her problems in order to improve mental health.
With Art therapy, it is possible to transform a hobby into a tool to make yourself better. Art therapy consists of the use of different artistic disciplines like painting, sculpture, theater, or literature for improving the psychological state of the individual, relying on the creation of different works.
The patient, with the help of his psychotherapist, manages to explore his or her unconscious in a playful way. Thus, he or she becomes able to externalize his or her possible traumas, blockages, or disorders in an optimal way, letting the treatment be more successful and effective.
Art therapy is an increasingly widespread method to achieve harmonious personal development and a broader knowledge of oneself. It promotes aspects like creativity, emotional intelligence, concentration, and instant resolution of problems.
As a professionalized discipline, Art therapy got its roots after World War II with the return to their places of origin of many soldiers and prisoners for whom it was necessary to find new ways to help them express what they felt since they weren’t able to verbalize the horror of the war they had to endure. In this situation, they saw in the psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud the seed to create art therapy.
Just like any therapeutic process, art therapy helps people deal with their emotional state of suffering, aiming to find the tools to heal themselves. It’s designed for those with a problem that requires this type of psychotherapy.
The purpose of art therapy is to achieve a balanced relationship between the inner world of each person and the outer reality that surrounds and affects them consciously or unconsciously. Thus, art therapy focuses on getting the patients to voluntarily agree to experience it so that they can reach a point of abstraction that allows them to paint, sculpt, act with the soul instead of the brain.
It’s beneficial for practically anyone, particularly for people who suffer from PTSD or depression. It’s also useful in cases of autism to visualize the inner world of the patient. It is also good for patients with senile dementia to work and externalize forgotten things in the conscious part of the brain. It is good for people with childhood trauma or who suffer from phobias.
Art therapy is indicated in the treatment of young people with eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, or obesity. It is recommended for people who have problems with their communication skills and experience difficulties in verbalizing what concerns them and in people who have suffered some type of harassment or violence, be it physical, psychological, or sexual.
Art therapy is one of the techniques that a psychotherapist can recommend, especially when you want to explore different solutions to find new treatment alternatives. In addition, it’s a method that more and more people use without any type of therapeutic indication to bring to light the unconscious and use it for self-knowledge and personal growth.