The American Art Therapy Association characterizes art therapy as an approach to mental health by utilizing the process of creative art to enhance mental, physical, and emotional well-being.
Through the use of creative expression, art therapy helps the participants to express artistically what words cannot convey. Techniques used in art therapy can include drawing, painting, coloring, sculpting, or collage.
Art therapy can be used to help people improve cognitive and sensory motor function, self-esteem, self-awareness, and emotional resilience. It promotes better understanding of one’s own feelings and behaviors. It may also aide in resolving conflict resolution, problem solving, and stress reduction.
No artistic ability or special talent is needed to participate in art therapy, and people of all ages including children, teens, and adults can benefit from it.
Common situations in which art therapy can be utilized:
- Children with learning disabilities
- People experiencing stress
- Individuals suffering from behavioral or social problems
- People experiencing mental health problems
- Individuals who have experienced a traumatic event
Some conditions that art therapy may be used to treat include:
- Emotional difficulties
- Eating disorders
- Substance use
- Family or relationship problems