Benefits of Art Therapy
The human race is prone to conflict, stress, mistakes, problems and hardship. Since the beginning of time, we have been faced with difficult situations. It is reasonable to believe that we all will face a situation where we feel overwhelmed at some point in our lives. Although we can not prevent turmoil, we are able to deal with it however we choose. Some options we tend to employ when dealing with conflict are avoidance, journaling, psychotherapy, and art therapy.
With many options available, which one is the best solution?
Art therapy is successful in virtually all situations in helping people cope with the hardships they endure throughout their lives. It is ...view middle of the document...
Of its easygoing nature, the underlying
meaning of the art in which patients create and self express "( Tracy
After being diagnosed with certain illnesses or diseases, patients may feel they have lost control of their own lives. Art therapy helps put the patient back in control. They are in charge of what colors they want to use in their paintings, the beads they use to make their bracelets and the materials they want to use for their artwork. The art they create is completely their own, allowing personal creativity to bolster their mood. Art therapy can give patients a sense of normality
and oftentimes builds confidence and self worth. Cathy Malchiodi, another art therapist, speaks on how art therapy can reduce stress among patients. "In a growing number of hospitals across the US, cancer patients are using art to express emotions and reduce stress" (Cathy Malchiodi). Being hospitalized can be very stressful on patients and their loved ones. Aside from their illness, they are faced with dietary changes, medications, and disruptions to their sleep patterns, not to mention the stress of the impending costs of medical care. Art therapy allows the patient to take a break from reality for a bit, which enables them to cope with their medical issues in a more positive state of mind. The benefits of art therapy become very evident when one views the successes of Councill and Malchiodi. However, the success is not limited to medical patients.
Art therapy is not limited to patients with illnesses. It can be very therapeutic to individuals who have been exposed to domestic and societal violence. Dr. Bruce Perry explains how being exposed to such violence can affect individuals. "A child who witnesses , hears, and lives in a home where a batterer is engaged in abusive, intimidating, and controlling behaviors exist under a constant state of fear and danger " (Dr. Bruce Perry). Art therapy can give these individuals a sense of stability. It will help individuals cope with feelings of crisis, reduce anxiety, fear and tension, and prepare for family changes. Barbara Sobol, an art therapist, explains how art therapists work to help victims of this particular lifestyle.
"The art therapist must work quickly to provide a sense of safety, assess the child's coping abilities, levels of distress, ascertain possible undisclosed abuse,make therapeutic interventions, and terminate the work-all before the child and mother return home or move on to other systems of care”(Barbara Sobol).
Art therapy also helps women who have been exposed to verbal or sexual abuse. Many female artists feel that art is a useful tool in representing sexual trauma and helps alleviate the frustration
associated with that memory.
These examples depict how art therapy is being successfully used on patients from all walks of life. Beverly A. Snyder explains how people learn to deal with everyday difficulties.
"The art product, whether it...