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The Arts and Mental Health: Art Therapy

In 1942, British artist Adrian Hill first developed the term “art therapy” when he was recovering from tuberculosis in a sanitarium. He discovered that drawing and painting helped him while he was recuperating.

Art therapy helps those who need help with mental health issues by using creative expression to foster healing and well-being. It has become an important part of therapy, including in assessment and treatment. Some ways this is being used are: Help with exploring emotions, develop self-awareness, cope with stress and boost self-esteem.

In the article “What is Art Therapy” on the website "VeryWell Mind," Kendra Cherry offers a list of therapy techniques which includes:
· Collage
· Coloring
· Doodling and scribbling
· Drawing
· Finger painting
· Painting
· Photography
· Sculpting
· Working with clay

Art therapy may be used to treat emotional difficulties, depression, anxiety, aging-related issues, PTSD, and psychosocial issues to name a few. You do not have to be artistic to participate in art therapy. It is also not the same as art class. Therapy allows people to focus on their own experiences, not on artistic techniques.

The best way to get started is to seek out a qualified art specialist. Check to see if your insurance will pay for part of the sessions. Be prepared to answer questions about your work during discussion.


What to Know About Creative Therapy

Art Therapy, American Art Therapy Association

What is Art Therapy? Kendra Cherry

Art Therapy

7 Unexpected Ways Clay is Therapeutic



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