Art therapy is a simple implementation of your art knowledge to heal your body & mind.
It can be any kind of simple activity like painting on canvas, Coloring a page of a Coloring book or replicating a painting, done all alone or in a group.
But the effects are superbly therapeutic. While I was creating my 1st ever #Coloringbookforadults
in India, I ended up studying, learning & practicing a lot about Art therapy.
The biggest advantage is that ART lets you express feelings or emotions that are otherwise difficult to express verbally.
I define art therapy as the psychological use of art media and its creative process, facilitated by an art therapist/expert or you, to help foster self expression, create coping skills, and strengthen sense of self. Using the artistic process to help people explore different challenges and things they’re facing in their life.
You could practice it all alone in the comfort of your own space or even indulge in a group activity too, perhaps the plus of a group activity is – An art activity done as a group changes you at many levels, as it makes you feel a part of some kind of cult or a sense of belonging is inculcated, you tend to feel you are not alone!
After conducting some workshops & my research Here is how I learnt, ART affects kids, teens & adults in various ways:
1. For kids –
Art making is a natural expression for children. They’re very open and ready to engage with it. It really helps build that sense of self & emotional expression, developing a strong sense of creativity, with their uncensored, untouched, innocent imagination. Giving them this sense at a young age, while they’re still in childhood, will help them be stronger as they move through adolescence and into adulthood, and be more able to develop emotional coping skills.
The kids are free from judgements, anxiety & unnecessary competition & this is what makes this age to introduce any such creative skill or ability.
2. Teens –
In this world of facebook & instagram ruling the lives of our teens, they seem to lack focus,discipline& patience. And yes they have a lot of aggression! Art Therapy provides teens with a special opportunity to express themselves beyond the scope of the “typical” therapy or counseling setting. It helps engage adolescents because of the flexibility, non-judgment, and freedom to express. It helps them center their energies towards creativity. Teens face a lot of negative peer pressure, competition, emotional & physical aggression. Like I said before it can be a group activity or something an individual does on his own in the privacy of his/her room.
Art helps teens address experiences like exploring their feelings, present conflicts, reflecting upon themselves, observing & managing their behaviors and reactions, improving social skills and navigating relationships, and providing relief to symptoms of stress, anxiety, and Depression.
Art Therapy also serves to help teens develop & strengthen a positive sense of self-worth.
But the practice of art needs to be established by parents & teachers both so that the teen is able to find this as an outlet for all his creative expression.
Adults often say, “I can’t draw,” which isn’t important — art therapy is about the process, not the product — but it’s nice to work with adults who don’t have that anxiety, or extreme sense of self judgement.Most of the facts stated for kids & teens apply to adults as well. However adults have a layer of non-acceptance to such simple activities, & they tend to become over judgemental about its results.
It can improve lives by helping people improve their mental, emotional, and even physical states. It can raise the quality of life for many people, and it’s worth considering if it can aid you in some way or another. It definitely works like magic when you want to distract your mind from stress, anxiety, depression or any other unsettling/unpleasant feeling of sorts.
Again, maybe it’s just the act of executing creative expression on your own or with others, or maybe with a art workshop. Either way, the benefits of art therapy make it worth exploring as a catalyst for healing.
All I would say is in a day 10 -15 mins of Coloring or painting cannot do you any harm so try it & observe yourself first. Start with a rule for everyone in the house to sit together for just 15 mins & color a page, make this a habit and watch it change the temperament of every one!
Hopefully you will be able to create magic with your own Creative mind.
Eventually happy minds make happy people!
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