Under the term of art therapy is understood the set of techniques that aim at both helping a person to cope with some problems, get a better understanding of himself as well as express himself. The means are rather simple – different artistic techniques and usage of common art items.
This is a very powerful method that allows externalizing hidden emotions and alleviating the state the person may be in. It is also the most successful way to give creativity a blast. The most frequently used art therapy activities are drawing, sculpture, woodworking and crafts. Scrapbooking and anything connected with DIY is used also very effectively in art sessions.
Art therapy activities have a purpose of acquiring a better understanding of one’s emotions and visions as well as creative potential. On such a session a person can be asked to draw the present state of his feelings, or depict with the most detail the way a person’s fear or worry looks like. The exercises are numerous and they are extremely effective. As they do not require any verbal representation, which is frequently hard and problematic, art therapy activities let a person reveal all the hidden and often unconscious feelings and get rid of the unwanted emotions, therefore, making him feel better in the process.
Art therapy activities are considered one of the most powerful therapeutic techniques. They are capable of bringing a person to a better understanding of his own self faster and better that any other therapy. In many cases this is the only technique a person reacts to. As it has already been mentioned, verbal interpretation of one’s problems, fears and anxieties sometimes appears complicated and frequently not only because a person just doesn’t want to talk; rather, he may frequently not realize what is to talk about. Art therapy activities were developed particularly for these purposes. It gives a person alternative much thinner instruments for expression. These techniques may be not evident but they allow involving a person completely both physically and emotionally and this gives very eloquent results.
Art therapy activities have long been known to the mankind. However, it has become an officially acclaimed form of psychotherapy only in the middle of the 20th century. So, the official history of the therapy is not so long. It all started when the effect of some of the artistic methods was noted and further on it triggered a thorough investigation and development of the therapy into independent branch.
Art therapy activities are broadly used in the modern world in the treatment courses of different institutions. Everything starting from minor psychological problems and ending with severe mental disorders is worked on with the help of artistic methods. It is used both as a major method and a compounding part of some other therapeutic technique.
Most frequently art therapy activities are used in the process of working with kids coping with learning disabilities and adults who happened to come across a very severe stress in their lives. It is effective when a person got a brain injury or any serious trauma. Difficult kids and teenagers with social problems show more willingness to cooperate if they are approached with the offer of some artistic activity.
Generally, art therapy activities have become even more popular than ever before when it comes to working with kids. They are now introduced and offered in the majority of the educational and medical establishments and they are really very effective by the number of reasons. Moreover, it is a very good method to learn more about the way kids think and choose to express themselves and see the world and so on.