Information on Art Therapy

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Information on Art Therapy

Art Therapy helps people to heal themselves through self-expression and gain relief through the art mediums of drawing, painting and modelling. It can have a powerful healing effect on the person and emotions that are too deep for words often find there way through to the surface through such expression. This form of therapy helps people to overcome difficult feelings, aids relaxation and ideally leads to a greater physical well being. People who benefit the most from this therapy often suffer from emotional problems. Art therapy is a relatively new form of therapy and was first practiced in England during the 1940's, mainly as a result of the work of the artist Adrian Hill and psychotherapist Irene Champernowne. Today art therapy is practiced throughout the world. It is used to help people that suffer from emotional and psychological problems, or who want to find out more about themselves. Group therapy is recommended to people who find it difficult to associate with others or who suffer from such ailments as drug addiction, alcoholism, bulimia and anorexia.

Consulting a Professional
Art therapists are specially trained to be sensitive and to be good listeners and to recognise when a patient needs to share his problems and to understand how difficult it is to express innermost feelings, especially when distressed or confused. You will be reassured in the beginning of your session that it doesn’t matter how well you draw or paint, because making images, marks and symbols is a natural human activity that we have all done since we were children. As a patient you will be helped to rediscover the ability to play creatively, and by doing so express and understand yourself and your problems better. Various art materials will be offered and you will be free to use them in any way that you wish, the therapist will offer help if you need it. At first you may find it hard to work spontaneously with unfamiliar materials and in front of strangers, but as you get on you will find that you have become so involved in what you are doing that you forget your fears and inhibitions and express yourself freely. Often the images that you create are unexpected, frightening and disturbing and you may even be shocked at what you have done. Art therapy is usually done in groups of 8 or 10, each member working individually, but eventually you will be encouraged to co-operate on group projects.

 

Emily R. Johnson Artist and Art Therapist in Louisville, KY

Author - Body and Mind

Published - 2013-01-23