Art Therapy for Mental Illness

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Art Therapy for Mental Illness

Art therapy can be beneficial for people suffering from mental health issues like depression, anxiety and addiction. The aim of art therapy is to give individuals a safe space in which to express their feelings and thoughts through creative activities they find comfortable.

In the United States, more than 5,000 art therapists work in this field. These professionals use their talents to assist children and adults cope with issues like trauma, depression, anxiety, grief, low self-esteem and other mental health issues.

Art therapy was founded in 1915 on the idea that therapeutic relationships should be nurtured. Margaret Naumburg developed this practice with the belief that children who were allowed to express their emotions through art would grow healthier individuals.

Art therapy has been around for years in mental health facilities and is now accessible in homes, schools and other community settings. Studies have demonstrated that art therapy can benefit a variety of physical and mental illnesses.

Art therapists come in a wide variety of specialties. Some focus on trauma, while others tackle addictions, aging issues, eating disorders and other mental health concerns.

Many art therapists are psychologists or psychiatrists who specialize in treating mental illnesses through creative techniques and materials. They may also have training in other creative therapies like music therapy, dance or drama.

Your therapist will ask about your current condition and goals for the sessions. They then suggest some themes to explore through drawing, painting, sculpting or another medium.

The therapist will then ask you questions about your experience and feelings as you create artwork. At times, they may simply observe you while you work.

As you gain more expertise at creating artwork, the therapist may begin offering less specific art projects and more open ones. This way, they can encourage you to express yourself without being judgmental.

They will also help you identify and build upon your strengths, giving you increased self-assurance in regards to yourself and the decisions you make.

Therapy sessions can take place in an art studio or other similar setting, depending on the client’s needs and interests. They often work with various media such as watercolors and charcoal.

When selecting an art therapist, make sure they are certified by the American Art Therapy Association. Additionally, inquire about their experience and training in this field.

Your art therapist should be familiar with both your current mental health concerns, as well as any past experiences that have had an impact on you. Doing this will allow them to tailor their care specifically towards meeting your individual requirements.

Typically, your art therapist will be a licensed or certified professional who has at least an associate degree in psychology or another related field such as nursing or education. Furthermore, they must be licensed or certified by the state.

They must possess knowledge and skill in treating mental illness, as well as training in creative therapies. This typically entails taking at least a few courses on mental health topics like childhood abuse, PTSD and other psychological disorders.

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