Art Therapy Essay

658 words - 3 pages

Art Therapy

How does Art Therapy help in maintaining a person's health or helping them get well from a sickness?

     Before finding the answer to this question it is necessary to understand the background, history, and importance of what Art Therapy is. First of all Art Therapy is a form of psychotherapy. In psychotherapy there is an exploration of feelings and concerns in nonverbal and verbal exercises that use simple visual art materials. Art therapy focuses on the creative process for a person instead of what they are able to produce. Confusing and difficult feelings are able to be expressed through using Art Therapy because it is presented in a non-threatening manner. Art Therapy is used to encourage insight, self-awareness, and independence of the patient. People whom use Art Therapy feel they are able to communicate and gain understanding through it. Art Therapy is said to help in a creative process that a person goes through in which they can find "inner guidance" and find "self-healing" at a conscious level. Art Therapy can be expressed through storytelling, poetry, music, dance, visual arts, painting, sculpture, and any other type of creativity activity. Many Art Therapists believe that there is growing a stronger connection between art and healing and believe that Art Therapy is significant to a person's health.

     Art Therapy was originally a part of the term "Expressive Therapy" and therefore categorized in a broad spectrum. During the age of Expressionism, which VanGough and other artists like him were a part of, expressive therapy began to develop. This took place in Europe when there was a need for emotional self-expression. In order to express this idea art work was portrayed with distortion of colors, shapes, and surfaces. This started to lead to the idea of abstraction. At this time, William Reich, who was a psychiatrist, started bringing psychiatry and expressionism together. He thought that this expressive therapy would be good because holding in...

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