When most people think of therapy they envision sitting in an office talking to an expert who will guide them through their problems. Yet, for many people, sharing or verbal expression does not come naturally. Fortunately, for those of us who struggle to say what is on our heart, art therapy is another form psychological healing.
With art therapy individuals can use artistic expression as a substitute for verbal communication. Art therapy can take a variety of forms including collage, phototherapy, sculpture or simple drawing and sketching. Each of these options offer a different way for a therapist to help patients access their psychological issues that may not ordinarily be apparent in traditional counseling services.
Art therapy benefits individuals in that it can reduce anxiety through release of dopamine in the brain. The calming effect of dopamine encourages patients to be able to share more freely whether through words or artistic expression. Additionally, during art therapy the emotional, cognitive and sensory processes work together to activate the whole brain. When the entire brain is engaged, then there is potential for healing to occur at a faster rate.
Finally, art therapy does not require any prior artistic skills. The therapist does not judge the work of the patient, but rather looks for significant markers that can facilitate the healing process. Art therapists want to work with you to determine exactly what your needs are and often art is the surest way to begin the psychological journey to optimum health.