Art Therapy or Activity Therapy: Psychotherapy Using Art As a Mode of Interaction; Uses, Benefits

Psychotherapy which uses art as a chief mode of interaction is known as "Art Therapy." It is also called as "Activity Therapy." The overall goal of the practitioners of this therapy is to allow individuals have a change and grow at a personal level with the use of art materials in a conducive environment. The relation between the practitioner and the person receiving therapy is of utmost importance. Art therapy is different from other psychological therapies in that it is a group process between the client, the therapist, and the medium of art which may include sculpting, drawing, painting, music, and other different art modalities. Thus, it gives the opportunity for putting across thoughts and interact, and it can be particularly helpful to people who find it difficult to put across their thoughts and feelings verbally.

Uses of Art Therapy

Art therapy is generally used to treat anxiety, depression, family issues, relationship issues, domestic violence, substance abuse, emotional difficulties due to disability or illness, trauma, cognitive, and neurological problems.

Understanding Art Therapy

Art therapists have significant understanding of the processes involved, which is further strengthened by vast knowledge of remedial practice and they work with both individuals and groups in an array of residential and community based settings like learning disabilities, family centers, palliative care etc. The variety of this area of work is displayed in the number of "special interest organizations" that have developed in association with "British Association of Art Therapists." More thorough information about this can be acquired from the Association.

Art Therapy

Art therapy is a varied profession and thus it is necessary to make certain that the practitioners are maintaining standards that should be upheld by a professional body. Art Therapists are required to register with the "Health Professions Council."

Art therapy is one of the various modalities competent of helping guide someone to good health and happiness. The quest of art can be accomplished through various mediums, including sculpting, drawing, painting, music, and other different art modalities. Art therapy is influential in assessing and treating a variety of psychological disorders.

Art therapy is applied on children, teenagers, adults, elderly, families, veterans, and people with chronic health issues. It is also utilized to treat anxiety, depression, family issues, relationship issues, domestic violence, substance abuse, emotional difficulties due to disability or illness, trauma, cognitive, and neurological problems.

Art therapy is not a mechanism capable of suddenly curing, healing, correcting, restoring, or resolving a person's mental health needs. Rather, it is similar to a variety of psychotherapeutic modalities. It is an instrument that helps guide and promote psychological health and wellbeing.

This therapy is useful for promoting self-expression, feelings, and emotions.

Benefits of Art Therapy

  • It has the ability to assist in positive viewpoint on one's life.
  • It promotes a sense of personal independence, self-reliance, and self-sufficiency.
  • It can also help a child work through difficult experiences.
  • It allows a child to communicate his/her emotions that otherwise may be abandoned from others in the community.
  • Therapy encourages constructive techniques to self-manage.
  • It increases one's awareness and orientation.
  • It helps facilitate and develop strategies for fine and gross motor skills,finger dexterity, etc.
  • It encourages development of healthy coping strategies.
  • It facilitates insight, understanding, and acceptance of other people's life challenges.
  • It is also helpful in promoting problem-solving skills.
  • It is capable of discovering, managing, and providing perception into traumatic experiences.
  • It is useful in developing interpersonal skills
  • It allows and lends a voice to those receiving therapy.
  • It is capable of helping children increase their attention span and decreases any frustration in them.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: November 22, 2013

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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