Why Art Therapy?
Art Therapy is the use of art to express feelings, emotions and perceptions through the production of visual and sensory symbols. It is based on the principle that visual symbols and images are one of the most natural forms of communication to humans.
Art therapy, sometimes called expressive art or art psychology, encourages self-discovery and emotional growth. Art therapy is also considered as a diagnostic tool for the identification of specific types of mental and emotional illnesses, as well as traumatic events.
Art therapy can help to develop emotional, cognitive, relational, and motor skills. Art therapy can improve communication (both verbal and nonverbal), promote relaxation, improve focus, foster expression, reduce anxiety, provide a sense of accomplishment, help build a sense of self, increase self-esteem, and teach interpersonal skills.
1- Who benefits from Art Therapy?
Art Therapy is predominantly useful for children with limited language and communication skills, behavioral issues and other special needs. Art therapy is also valuable for adolescents and adults who are unable or unwilling to verbalize thoughts and feelings.
Art therapy can help children to process experiences of grief, trauma, life transitions, birth of a sibling, parental separation or divorce, injury or accident, emotional issues (fear, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, anger, etc.), disabilities physical, learning or invisible, hyperactivity, adoption, behavioral issues (aggression, withdrawal, impulsivity, tantrums, mutism etc.), etc.
Teenagers benefit from Art Therapy to process unresolved conflicts in family relationships, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, depression, trauma, developmental challenges, and identity based questions, emotional issues, social concerns, and others.
2- Benefits of Art Therapy:
Fine motor skills: Material used and tasks required in sessions can help with fine motor control, as well as tactile defensiveness. Many children with sensory integration challenges benefit greatly from this aspect of art therapy because the art process lends itself to new and pleasurable sensory experiences. The therapist uses different resources to elicit different responses.
Self-discovery: Art therapy can trigger an emotional sense of relief and wellbeing through the recognition and acknowledgement of subconscious feelings. Emerging and recurrent symbols expressed and analyzed in art work can help to make unconscious experiences and feelings conscious.
Self-expression: One of Art therapy's primary goals is providing a safe outlet to express and communicate what is sometimes difficult to put in words. Expressing oneself through Art activates the whole brain and fosters integration of emotional, cognitive, and sensory processes.
Personal fulfillment: Tangible rewards can build confidence and nurture feelings of self-worth. Art therapy provides children with a means to experience success through gaining new skills and achieving.
Creativity: Art Therapy activates the right side of the brain responsible for creativity and the ability to use our intuition. Adding such creative therapy to other forms of counseling can aid in the learning of coping skills that are often lacking in conditions like Attention Deficit/Hyper Activity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Conduct Disorder.
Empowerment: Art therapy enhances the use of existing strengths to build further skills which can help in managing difficult emotions and circumstances. Research has shown that art therapy can help students feel in control. A study that paired academic assistance with weekly art therapy sessions found that the addition of art therapy contributed positively to the social-emotional adjustment of children with learning difficulties.
Relaxation and stress relief: Different techniques used in Art Therapy such as guided imagery can be a potent stress reliever. Emotions and art are closely connected; making art can aid in uplifting one's mood.
Symptom relief and physical rehabilitation: Art therapy can also help individuals cope with pain and promote physiological healing.
3- Difference between Arts and Crafts session and Art Therapy sessions at S-miles center:
You don't need to be an artist, or to know how to paint or even how to draw to engage in Art Therapy session.
Unlike Arts and Crafts sessions, Art Therapy sessions involve two parts of which creating art work and then analyzing its meaning. Children are expected to visualize, and then create, the thoughts and emotions that they can't express verbally. The outcome is then reviewed, and its meaning is interpreted by both the child and the therapist. The analysis of the artwork typically enables individuals to gain some level of insight into their feelings and allows them to work through these issues in a constructive manner.
An art teacher educates students about techniques. An art therapist encourages art-making to reduce problems related to learning and emotional adjustment. Art therapy enables a child to explore personal problems through physical activity and sensory integration. During Art Therapy sessions the focus is not on the product rather on the processes. The goal is not to use art techniques and tools in order to create a piece that can be exhibited in school or a museum. Children are rather encouraged to concentrate on how it feels to paint, build, draw, or sculpt. Children are asked to sweep a brush across a canvas to foster motor skills. Drawing a picture of a memory enhances analytic and sequential operations, logic, and abstraction. Working through the sequence of steps needed to complete an art task requires attention skills and working memory. Art therapist shows curiosity towards a child's work rather than judge the outcome.
S-miles Center offers both Art Therapy sessions and Arts and Crafts sessions. Goals vary according to individual needs.
For more info please don't hesitate to contact us on +961 71 74 74 54
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