The term art therapy is generally used to describe the psychological treatment and support methods that use people's imagination as a tool. It has been developed to reduce people's daily stresses, worries and the effects of traumatic events they are trying to get over.
Art covers all concrete and abstract products that people create by making sense of their creativity. Therefore, many branches of art, such as music, writing, painting, sculpture and mosaic, can be used in art therapy. So what are the benefits of art therapy, and what are the benefits for people with disability? Let's take a look.
Who Should Try Art Therapy?
Art therapy is based on the idea that people can use artistic activity and creativity as a tool for psychological well-being. Therefore, anyone can experience an art therapy technique. However, there are some situations where art therapy is used as a psychological treatment or recommended explicitly by experts:
- The benefits of art therapy for people with disabilities are known; therefore, people with disability are encouraged to engage in art therapy.
- Art therapy can be used in psychiatric conditions such as depression and eating disorders.
- The benefits of art therapy for trauma can play an essential role in trauma treatment.
- Art therapy is recommended for people experiencing psychosocial problems.
- Art therapy can be used for stress-related issues, as the benefits of art therapy for stress are extremely helpful in coping with stress.
- Art therapy can also benefit people with emotional difficulties and substance use disorders.
What to Expect From an Art Therapy Session?
Individuals do not need artistic or unique talent to participate in art therapy, so it is wrong to expect art therapy to be a creative activity requiring technical mastery. People of all ages can be involved in art therapy, including children, teenagers and adults. However, the benefits of art therapy for people with disability should not be overlooked, and it should be kept in mind that art therapy is an activity that can include all types of disability groups.
An art therapy session can be carried out with many techniques that can bring people closer to their creativity. Depending on which art is preferred and the team of the session, the content of the art therapy session may vary. For example, when it comes to the benefits of art therapy for people with disability, you can expect to participate in a simple and fun mosaic DIY activity at the beginner level in an art therapy session.
Mental Health Benefits of Art Therapy Activities
According to a 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, less than an hour of creative or artistic activity is effective at reducing stress and positively affecting your mental health. In order to grasp the benefits of art therapy for people with disability, it is essential to know the benefits of art therapy in mental health:
- The most prominent benefit of art therapy for people with disability is the power of art therapy to reduce anxiety and stress.
- Art therapy increases self-esteem and self-confidence. This issue, which is very critical among the benefits of art therapy for people with disability, is also related to self-actualization.
- Attending art therapy is an excellent opportunity to release your emotions and express yourself.
- Art therapy is a therapy technique that promotes psychosocial adjustment. This factor, which is one of the benefits of art therapy for people with disability, can be generalized to all people who have problems with social cohesion.
- Mental renewal and the possibility of self-discovery are other critical points that come to mind among the benefits of art therapy for people with disability.
Benefits of Art Therapy for Dementia
In addition to the benefits of art therapy for disabilities, it is possible to talk about the benefits of dementia. The benefits of art therapy for dementia can be summarized as follows:
- Mental vitality is one of the essential criteria for coping with dementia. Art therapy stimulates the brain, promotes mental vitality and stimulates memories.
- People with dementia may have trouble expressing themselves verbally. Art therapy creates a space for people to express themselves nonverbally.
- An increase in self-confidence and social interactions can be observed in dementia patients who attend art therapy sessions.
- Art therapy also stimulates the senses, relieves stress, and helps dementia patients stay busy and have fun.
Benefits of Art Therapy for Learning Disabilities
Learning disabilities are accepted as a disability group, and experts recommend art therapy to this group because of the benefits of art therapy for learning disabilities. The benefits of art therapy for people with disability, in general, apply to the learning disability group:
- Because art therapy is a means of nonverbal expression, it can be particularly beneficial for those who have limited or no speech.
- It can promote social cohesion, emotional expression, social interaction and communication in people with learning disabilities.
- Art therapy can help focus the attention and mind on a particular subject.
- It can support the development of versatile and creative thinking.
- It can help people with learning disabilities to creatively find their own understanding and learning techniques.
- It contributes to the development of self-confidence and a sense of achievement.
Benefits of Art therapy for Autism
The benefits of art therapy for autism are one of the most researched topics in recent years. While autism is still a mystery to experts, the benefits of art therapy for people with disability are recognized and thought to be beneficial in the field of autism as well:
- The areas where individuals with autism have the most difficulty are communication and social adaptation. Art therapy can help people express themselves more easily by opening up a space for nonverbal expression.
- Art therapy encourages abstract thinking and increases imagination.
- It can be a tool for people with autism to understand other people's perspectives.
- It increases emotional integration and strengthens coping skills.
- With art therapy, visual and spatial skills are developed.
- As a result, art therapy can positively affect the behaviour of individuals with autism.
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