Art Therapy is using the arts to express oneself. This can be done with or without the help of professionals, who are trained in both psychotherapy and art therapy. The main aim of art therapy is to express feelings and thoughts that can’t be or are hard to be put into words in order for the person to acknowledge and deal with them. Putting one’s feelings or problems on a piece of paper or canvas makes the problem appear external somehow therefore gives one control over it. It’s particularly useful for people who have a problem with expressing or dealing with their feelings.
It doesn’t require people to have any talents or past experience in the arts to benefit from them. It may be difficult at first to draw or sing but it gets easier as time passes. Another advantage of Art therapy is that it gives one a sense of accomplishment. It also diverts one’s attention from one’s problems, relieves stress, and enhances self esteem and self awareness. It goes without saying that anyone can give art therapy a try.
Art Therapy Exercises:
- Scribbling in the dark:
This is can be practiced while closing your eyes or when the lights are out. Just place the pencil or pen’s tip on the middle of your pad and scribble away. Once done review your piece and look for any identifiable shapes. Color the shape and fix the overall artwork accordingly.
- Color blocking:
Paint different pieces of paper whichever way you feel like. Get a blank poster and glue the pieces anyway you’d like until you are pleased with the outcome.
- Making a magazine collage:
Go through old magazines and pick out pictures that appeal to you about a certain topic and cut them out. You can make a story or just randomly glue the pictures.
- Photography journal:
Take a picture of yourself or anything that appeals to you and write a paragraph about how you feel about it every day.
- Draw your future self:
Try to imagine yourself in the future or what you want to be like and draw it. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece but do your best.
- Make a visual autobiography:
It can be a collection of your artwork or magazine pictures.
- Make a statue that represents your problem
- Make a collage of your problem/s and possible solutions
- Just paint
- Put music on and make art according to it (how it makes you feel)
- Get a coloring book and color!
- Go out and paint or take pictures
- Make art or take picture that represent freedom to you
- Create a portrait of how you think people view you
- Draw or paint something that scares you
- Draw or paint an important childhood memory
- Make blot art
- Make art out of recycled items
After you’re done making your art, sit down and review the results. Ask yourself how it makes you feel and why it makes you feel that way. Some answers may be too revealing and will cause you to be emotional but it’s ok because once you are you’ll know you’re on the right track and that you’re confronting yourself and could finally get yourself to deal with your problems.
Happy art making!