The Healing Power of Art
From cave paintings to masterpieces, art has always been used as a tool for expression, communication, and healing. It has the power to evoke emotions, spark creativity, and inspire change. But how can art be used as therapy? Read on to find out more.
Art therapy uses art creation as a tool to improve a person's wellbeing. It's particularly powerful for people who struggle with anxiety, depression, trauma, and other mental health issues, allowing artistic expression in a safe and non-judgemental environment. Art therapy can involve any artistic medium, including drawing, painting, and modelling, and can be used alongside other therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy.
Creating art is a mindful process, which can help to reduce stress and anxiety. Studies show that art making can significantly lower cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress.
Art allows people to communicate in a medium other than words. This can be particularly helpful for individuals who struggle with verbal communication, or who have been through trauma.
Group art projects, such as painting or art installations, can create a sense of belonging and welcome, allowing individuals to come together and create something as a team. This fosters a sense of purpose and togetherness particularly within communities of vulnerable individuals.
Creating art involves disciplines such as problem-solving, decision-making, and critical thinking, which can help improve brain function and memory. It also involves hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, helping to fine-tune and improve both.
Art therapy is increasingly recognised as a complementary treatment for individuals with PTSD. Additionally, creative self-expression in a safe and supportive environment can help individuals engage in other treatments and therapies. Art therapies designed to treat psychological conditions, such as PTSD, should always be led by a trained professional.