Talk therapy is available through apps, in person, and in programs. Art therapy isn’t as well known as talk therapy, but it has unique benefits.
People decide to start art therapy for many reasons. My clients come to art therapy for their own unique and varied reasons. The following list includes some of those reasons for choosing art therapy.
Reasons People Go to Art Therapy:
First, they have done traditional talk therapy and wanted to take therapy to the next level and do some depth work. This is the Jungian way. In this approach, turning inward asks questions like; Who am I? What is my purpose? How do I find meaning in my life?
There aren’t Words
Second, they don’t know what to say about a situation. Sometimes there just aren’t words. In other unfortunate cases, something is so horrible that it seems unspeakable. In cases of grief and or trauma, this is often the case. The art gives a container to hold conflicting emotions and emergent feeling that words can’t seem to pinpoint. It offers a unique approach to grief therapy.
They Tried Art Therapy in the Past
Third, they tried art therapy in a short-term setting and really liked it.
Art can be Meditative and Calming
Furthermore, art also can be a meditation in itself. Sometimes people need a break from thinking and talking. This can especially be true for people with communication disorders, learning disabilities, or for people with jobs that require high focus and attention to detail. Art therapy can engage different types of cognition. These ways of thinking include symbolic processing, sensory engagement, intuitive, and even illogical connections that are important ways to honor our emotions. In these cases, art can be a safe haven that brings the mind and the nervous system back into balance, for an increased sense of calm. Thus, the art-making can be a break that can be an act of self-care.
Creativity Feels Good
Finally, some people want to take their creative process further. They innately enjoy art and find it stress-relieving. Through art-making, people can express themselves, feel creative, increase emotions they enjoy, and playfully engage with new possibilities. In this case, the weekly therapy hour becomes like a fulcrum around which everything else turns. This makes the therapy hour a central still point of contemplation. It can give structure, accountability, support, stress-relief, and honoring of a person’s process and progress. Some find that the commitment of art therapy gives them a sense of investment in self-discovery, self-care, and their art process.
In conclusion, the above list names a few of the reasons that appeal to some of my clients for why they chose art therapy. First, art therapy is an appropriate therapy for anyone looking to start therapy. However, some of the reasons above highlight the unique reasons to work with an art therapist including engaging in a broader range of mental processes, engaging with your unconscious, expressing yourself, processing trauma and grief, working through life transitions, working through difficult to change emotions or engrained life patterns, and increasing creative enjoyment in life.
What reasons do you have for engaging in creative activities? Share your thoughts with me on Facebook or Instagram.
I’m currently accepting new clients for individual art therapy. Reach out if have questions or you’d like to get started.