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Art Therapy: Children And Its Effectiveness

979 words - 4 pages

What is art? Art is the self-expression of someone of something that shows the hidden or underlying emotions that are found within the unconscious mind. Art has been around for centuries (“Merriam-Webster”). Normally, art would tell stories of past events which were significant to that culture. This could include things such as hunts and sacrifices to please the gods. As people and humanity started to evolve and become more civilized, art started to transform and take on a new appearance as well. From being a story prop to something that is more abstract; art started to become more and more important in the lives of people. During the renaissance in Europe, many new artists and ways of thinking emerged and became the main-stream way of thinking. Many of those artist are household names such as Vincent Van Gogh and Leonardo da Vinci . They transformed art from what it was to how we see it today (Belliveau). Jumping forward from the renaissance to the 1960’s, you have artists emerge such as Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollok. They pushed the boundaries of art and how it was perceived in society (American Art Therapy Association).
When one talks about art there are many aspects that they could be talking about. Art could be seen as a painting but it could also be seen as a sculpture or sketch. When thinking about art the possibilities of how it could be used is endless. Art could be used in interior decorating or designing something extraordinary but it could also be used as self-expression of suppressed feelings that are unknown to the consciousness.
In the beginning, art was never seen as a therapeutic form of expression. Art is now looked at as a good was to relieve stress and express emotions. Rather, art had a more practical approach in society. It was seen as something decorative and pleasant to the eye. It wasn't until art was seen as something more than decoration that it became a form of therapy that could be useful in our everyday lives. This form of therapy is called art therapy (Kramer).
Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses art materials, such as paints, chalk and markers. It combines traditional psychotherapeutic theories and techniques with an understanding of the psychological aspects of the creative process, especially the affective properties of the different art materials (Kramer). The creative process which is involved in this style of artistic self-expression helps people work on conflicts and problems that are in their everyday lives. Art therapy helps them develop interpersonal skills, help reduce stress, and increase self-esteem and self-awareness. Art therapists work with children, adolescents, and adults. These therapist provide services to individuals, couples, families, groups, and communities (Belliveau).
In art therapy, the mind is allowed to wander and be free. This gives the ability to be creative and have abstract thoughts or feelings that could be placed on paper. Art therapy can be a very...

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