Art therapy is a type of psychotherapy and psychological correction based on art and creativity. The term was first used by Adrian Hill in 1938 when describing his work with tuberculosis patients and soon became widespread.
In the narrow sense of the word, art therapy usually refers to art therapy with the aim of influencing the psycho-emotional state of a person
Art therapy is art treatment.
Art therapy (lat. ars — art, Greek. Therapeia — treatment) is a method of treatment with the help of artistic creativity. Today, art therapy is considered one of the most gentle, but effective methods used by psychologists and psychotherapists.
It can be said that during art therapy sessions, patients receive an important message from their own subconscious. This technique belongs to the most ancient and natural forms of correction of emotional states.
It is important that any person, even independently, without the help of a specialist, can practice art therapy. It helps to relax and relieve tension.
There are different models of art therapy in different countries. It is very important to note that this technique has no contraindications and limitations. It is used in almost all areas of psychotherapy.
It also found quite wide application in pedagogy, social work and even business. Art therapy gives any person the opportunity to express his inner world through creativity.
Types of art therapy
If we talk about classical art therapy, then it includes only visual types of creativity, such as: painting, graphics, photography, drawing and sculpting.
But modern art therapy has more types of techniques. It also includes bibliotherapy, mask therapy, fairy-tale therapy, origami, drama therapy, music therapy, color therapy, video therapy, sand therapy, play therapy, etc.
A complex method was also developed – art synthesis therapy. It is based on the use of a combination of painting, poetry, drama and theater, rhetoric and plastic arts. Moreover, the number of methods is constantly increasing.
Application of art therapy
Art therapy techniques are used for a wide range of problems. These can be psychological injuries, losses, crisis situations, intra- and interpersonal conflicts, post-stress, neurotic and psychosomatic disorders, existential and age-related crises.
Art therapy helps to develop a person’s creativity of thinking and the integrity of his personality, as well as through creativity allows to reveal personal meanings. It is necessary to note the high efficiency of art therapy, both when working with adults and when working with teenagers and children.
By its very nature, this technique is radical. It allows you to reveal the inner strength of a person. Art therapy helps increase self-esteem; teaches to relax and get rid of negative emotions and thoughts; during group work, it develops important social skills in a person.
Art therapy gives a person the opportunity to strengthen their memory, develop attention, thinking and decision-making skills.
Art therapy is used in individual and group psychotherapy, in various trainings. It can also serve as a complement to other methods and directions of psychotherapy, systems of rehabilitation, education and training. It is important that art therapy does not require special training.
Possibilities of art therapy. The benefit of art therapy
It can be said that art therapy is built on faith in the creative basis of a person. It does not set itself the goal of making a person an artist or an actor. It is primarily aimed at solving psychological problems.
Almost every person can take part in art therapy work, regardless of their age. It does not require him to have creative abilities.
Through artistic images, our unconscious interacts with consciousness.
Art therapy helps to establish relationships between people. With the help of art, a person not only expresses himself, but also learns more about others.
Art therapy allows you to get to know yourself and the world around you. In artistic creativity, a person embodies his emotions, feelings, hopes, fears, doubts and conflicts. It happens on an unconscious level, and a person learns a lot about himself.
Art therapy develops creative abilities. During art classes, a person can discover previously unknown talents.
Art therapy is a good way of social adaptation. This is most important for people with disabilities. They are often very socially maladjusted. They lack communication.
Art therapy gives them the opportunity to participate more actively and independently in the life of society. Art therapy mainly uses non-verbal means of communication. This is very important for people who find it difficult to express their thoughts in words.
Art therapy, which is based on the ideas of Freud and Jung, is not so much a treatment as a development of a person’s inherent creativity, harmonization and development of personality, which helps in solving problems.
According to Freud, a person’s inner self is revealed in visual form whenever he spontaneously draws or sculpts something, and the visual arts, having much in common with fantasies and dreams, fulfill a role of compensating and relieving mental tension.
Jung emphasized the importance of using personal and universal symbols. The central figure in the art therapy process is not the patient as a sick person, but a person who strives for self-development and expanding the range of his capabilities.
He believed that the patient, relying on the “transcendent” properties of symbols and his own creative potential, is able to achieve self-healing, and that symbolic images contain ways of solving intrapsychic conflicts.