The creator of art therapy is Margaret Naumberg, a psychologist and an artist fascinated by the art form. Art therapy develops a positive attitude with respect to feeling good about oneself, meaningful, and understood. Art therapy is one of the primary forms of psychotherapy. The deeper we delve into art therapy, the more interesting it sounds. The general public often mistakes art therapy to be an art class. To clear out the air, art therapy is a therapeutic approach to psychoanalysis of every individual facing problems related to depression, anxiety, and a healthy lifestyle.
Art therapy developed through different stages after initially being disapproved as an exact form of therapy as it lacked scientific evidence. As time passed, psychologists gathered additional research material on art therapy and approved it as part of therapy for psychotherapy.
Art therapy is a study of different kinds of thinking patterns and minds. The therapist follows no systematic pattern with a particular set of rules. Once an individual enters a consultation for art therapy, they are advised to utilize every aspect of their neuro pathways and colors on the blank sheet of paper. No judgments are passed along any colors used, or strokes are drawn. It gives the patient free will to express on paper.
Art as Therapy & Art as Psychotherapy
Art therapy is not a mixture of an art class and therapy. The two are different subjects combined with a single mindset towards understanding human behavior from a psychotherapy perspective.
If we look at art as a therapy or an aspect of psychotherapy, we derive different elements.
Analyzing art is not just an artist's work but sometimes done by an art therapist to understand a person's mind. An analytical approach to understanding an individual's mind is always the right one. A person's path of thinking is subjugated to learn his aspects of sadness, depression, anxiety, and emotional downfall. The detailed analysis cannot be drawn from the strokes or use of colors. However, a specific path to his thinking can be noticed through this method.
In terms of the behavioral settings of the human mind, art therapy plays a huge role. The entire process of working of a human mind can be explained if studied through this method. Art therapy from the behavioral side of exploring the neuropathways of a person can be helpful. It is induced in schools or mental asylums to help challenged personalities overcome fallacies in their behaviors. A particular pattern of the mind can be understood from the behavioral side of art therapy.
There are still undisclosed patterns about art as therapy. Psychology is psychoanalysis that is one of the cornerstones of artistic analysis. After years of research and studies, artists as individuals were misinterpreted through psychological analysis. Van Gogh, Picasso, and Leonardo Da Vinci paintings are still studied as subjects of art therapy and art as psychotherapy. Many scholars have attempted to understand their personality and psychology through their paintings, but not a lot of progress has been made.
If we consider art as a therapy and part of psychotherapy, the emotional well-being of a person can be defined based on the emotions one feels. Provocative actions can be studied by emotional outbursts, and sudden fall of emotions are observed. A wide range of emotions a person goes through if he suffers from a tragedy, trauma, loss, and accident. Emotional loss can be overbearing as a person cannot understand his flow of feelings towards his/her tragic loss.
Who is eligible for art therapy?
Any person of any age can undergo therapy from a qualified therapist through proper appointment. Counseling is done through art form and analyzed from different aspects of psychology and psychotherapy. Art therapy determines the range of voids a person has gone through in their life. People can visit art therapy sessions and get treated for their discrepancies. Art therapy limits emotional outbursts for a subject seeking an improvement in behavioral aspects, or modifications in well-being.
In terms of academic prospects, art therapy can be pursued with a particular set of qualifications required to be a certified practitioner. There are several educational websites that provide information with regards to psychotherapy with art therapy as an objective.
Effects of Art Therapy:
Art therapy is not an art class but a therapy used for analyzing the behavior patterns from a psychotherapy perspective. Art therapy proved beneficial for analyzing the accuracy of the emotional wound with regards to its impact, depth, and intensity. People undergo different situations differently, and reactions from them are diverse. Each problem is different, and its effect on each one varies.
There have been some appreciated effects from art therapy such as,
- Regaining confidence.
- Reduces stress levels.
- Reduces anxiety levels.
- Increases self-awareness.
- Boosts self-esteem.
- Emotional stability.
Though the exact sequence of these effects varies from time to time, there have been positive changes in people's lives treated from art therapy.
Art & Therapy Hand in Hand:
The role of art and therapy is significant for an improved lifestyle of humans on this earth. The behavioral study is the need of the hour after we see symptoms of rising anxiety levels, increased mental pressure, high levels of depression, and less self-esteem inserting adverse effects on health. In the future, the stress levels of humans need to be controlled in this fast pace life. All are under tremendous amounts of pressure, trying to outweigh each other to be the best in every race of life. The pandemic brought humankind to its senses and introduced us to various methods of tackling mental health and anxiety. Art Therapy is a lesser-known feature as a form of psychotherapy, but it has gained recognition for its therapeutic benefits.
A Few Words to Conclude
Van Gogh described art as an open form of expression. The reality contradicts by art being a cumulative form of therapy advancing towards the betterment of humans. Art describes unseen pictures from a person's mind; those are the harsh realities to be understood. In the end, Picasso needed treatment. After all, he could not be understood as an artist because people failed to understand the severity and act.