Art therapy is a category of expressive therapy, and is used with people who have trouble speaking about a (often traumatizing) experience, especially children. Art therapists are licensed therapists and, in the U.S., require a Master’s Degree. These therapists utilize art as a mode of expression for an event or period of time that is difficult to talk about, to reduce stress, or to help treat someone with a mental illness.
Those participating in art therapy draw, paint, collage, or use other art mediums to express emotions and use as a vehicle for personal exploration.
You can practice art therapy at home as a method of stress-release. However, if you or a loved one have experienced a traumatic event or have mental illness, it is recommended that you seek a licensed Art Therapist.
Where you can find an Art Therapist:
What is Art Therapy good for?
This type of therapy has been shown to increase relaxation and a sense of calm, which could benefit those who have stress.
Soldiers suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) have been known to use art therapy sessions to help them assimilate into civilian life.
Patients with mental illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s and Bipolar Disorder, have been shown to benefit due to a boost in self-esteem and an increased sense of control. This treatment option, however, should never replace medication or other treatments prescribed by your doctor. Talk to your doctor about how art therapy could compliment pre-existing treatment.