What is Art Therapy?
- Jennifer Baxt, LMFT, LMHC
- Therapy Related
Art therapy hardly seems like the traditional type of therapy a person would see on a television show or a movie, does it? Therapy is hardly the age old stereotype that people who have no personal experience of being through therapy may picture in their minds. New methods and ideas are thought up and put into practice all the time in an effort to help people more than before. With more options available to individuals who are suffering from phobias, depression or any other condition, the more of a chance they have to work through their condition and have better lives as a result. Art therapy is one of many proven methods used to help people deal with the issues they may have that are making their lives more difficult than they need to be.
Art therapy is basically what this type of therapy is all about. It is where a person will use art, whether it is clay, paints, or pencils, to express themselves. It is a therapy that can help a person explore their inner feelings, their dreams or memories in a way that could often be easier than using words. It is through this method that a therapist can learn more about what is troubling the patient. Learning more about the patient can help the therapist decide what the best treatment or therapy the patient may need in order to continue the healing process, or overcome their depression.
A common misconception about art therapy is that it is used more for children who seem to be suffering as a result of an incident or condition, but in truth it is for just about anyone who it will work for. Regardless of what the patients age is art therapy can help people who suffer from depression, abuse, or certain phobias. Art encourages a person to be more creative and through this type of therapy can gain a better understanding of themselves and their issues. It will also help the counselor, or therapist, get a window into the patients subconscious where they can find the answers they need in order to help their patient. Often, being creative can even bring out the most subconscious thoughts of a person without them even realizing it. After all, many of the problems a person may have can often be found by the therapist helping them to look deeper into their subconscious to retrieve the issues that are at the root of their problem. It is through gaining a proper understanding of what the patients real problem is that a therapist can properly treat the patient, either through medicinal or non-medicinal therapies.
Art therapy is perhaps the best way for a therapist to help a patient bring out what is bothering them and creating the depression or condition. Sometimes words are just not enough and cant fully explain what a patient is feeling or going though. Art has a way of allowing a person to express their feelings fully. Words can occasionally be limiting, where art does not really have any limits and this is what makes this type of therapy a great option for young and old alike.