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Art Therapy: Types, Benefits And Connection To Color Psychology

Art can be used as a therapy to improve our well-being. But what is art therapy and what benefits does it bring our health?
Art therapy - Painting is the most popular form of healing through art.

 

Art therapy is a type of treatment that involves the use of creative techniques such as drawing, painting, collage, coloring or sculpture to help people express themselves artistically and to examine their psychological and emotional experiences through their art. The number of people that turn to art therapy is growing daily, as well as the number of people who train to be therapists.

Let's have a look at what this therapy implies and what its main benefits are!

What is art therapy?

Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of making art to improve the physical, mental and emotional well-being of a person.

The creative process that occurs when someone expresses themselves artistically can help solve problems, manage behaviors and feelings, reduce stress and improve self-esteem and awareness.

You don't have to be an artist or have many talents to enjoy the benefits provided by art therapy.

Art therapists can help us immerse ourselves in the encoded messages our subconscious mind communicates through our art which helps in the process of improving our emotional state.

Art therapy can produce different benefits depending on each person. It can be used to improve our health, for rehabilitation, like psychotherapy and, in the broad sense of the term, it can be used as a self-discovery tool. 

Connection to color psychology

As part of an art therapy course, you can do some sessions with a color psychologist. Color psychology is an integral part of the process of art therapy.

Art therapy can include a wide range of art materials and processes.

 

The art therapy specialist will ask the patient to paint a colorful landscape. After the patient expresses themselves artistically, the therapist will interpret the colors used during the process of creating the painting, the placement, and the chosen theme. 

Types of art color

There are different types of art therapy depending on the artistic creation wish to create. Some of them are:

1. Painting

This technique of art therapy is probably the most versatile as painting can give us a great feeling of freedom. The therapist assigns themes on what to base the drawing on.

It will provide us with a blank canvas to work with, with infinite possibilities. For example, we can explore our emotions and draw whatever comes to mind, letting loose and expressing our innermost deep thoughts. 

2. Collage

Doing collage consists of cutting and pasting images that inspire us or that convey our emotions. This can provide a great sense of freedom and can help us explore our creative side without having to paint or draw.

It is our art but through the collection of other images that best express how we feel. Collage is very similar to making a vision board, which is when we make a collage of life goals and the objectives we want to achieve.

3. Digital art

Times change and with the development of new technologies, so does how we make art. In digital art, the computer is used to create artistic products. For example, we could digitally make a collage or use drawing software to make illustrations.

This technique is used a lot with children since they are accustomed to computers and mobile phones and it allows them to express their creative ideas. The possibilities are almost endless when using digital software, as it helps them to express their emotions and moods even more than via traditional innovative methods. 

4. Photography

Photography is not only a form of art; it is also a means of expression and a way of communicating thoughts and feelings.

 

For those who may not be so interested in drawing and painting, photography can be an excellent way to express their emotions. We can take pictures of many different things. For example, we can take photos of the things we are grateful for, the people we love, or just things that we think are beautiful and enjoyable.

We can mix this art with collage and use both forms to express our feelings. The art therapist can help us discover what kind of photography might suit us best.

5. Textiles

The use of textiles in art therapy is another way of creating art with which we can express our feelings. The softness provided by the fabric can help comfort us during the sessions and allow us to open up more to the creative process.

It can be an excellent way to express ourselves without worrying about having to use a pencil or brush.

What does an art therapist do?

Art therapists are trained in both psychological and art therapies and have studied and mastered both psychology and human development, after receiving extensive training.

This ensures that they are professionals when it comes to using art as a healing tool for everything from a general health assessment and down to a severe illness.

Therapists can work with people of all ages, sex, etc. They can help a person, a couple, a family or groups of people and, depending on the situation, there can be numerous therapists working together as a clinical team.

The art therapy therapists are trained to understand and grasp non-verbal symbols and metaphors that are often expressed through art and concepts that are generally difficult to communicate with words.

It is through this process that the therapists begin to see the effects of this therapy and the improvements that can be made.

Benefits of art therapy 

Art therapy offers a series of benefits to people who receive treatment for various problems and health conditions. Depending on the issues we may have, this therapy will help us in one way or another.

Also, it offers patients the opportunity to address unspoken difficulties or express themselves in a way that transcends spoken or written language. It is likely that if we have suffered significant emotional trauma, we experience feelings or memories that can not be easily expressed or processed.

Art therapy solves these conflicts by providing a unique means of expression. By using this type of treatment, we explore our ability to create and imagine new things.

We will gain more confidence in ourselves and in our artistic ability which means we will value our efforts more and ultimately help to raise our self-esteem.

A third benefit is that art therapy removes the therapist and the patient from the "traditional" therapeutic setting where individual or group discussions take place. This change in scenery can free the patient to identify and address the problems that perhaps they were previously struggling to express.

Who can do art therapy?

To enjoy art therapy sessions, there is no need to have a talent or any creative skills. We should not be afraid to express ourselves through art. Although it may seem different and unnatural at first, it is usually because we are not used to communicating through art.

Collage is a great way for people to express themselves creatively without the pressure of making a realistic drawing.  
 

The creative process can be one of the most rewarding aspects. Together with an art therapy specialist, you will feel more comfortable with this new form of expression, and after all, the goal is not necessarily to create a masterpiece but to enjoy the process of creating something. 

Check out the original article: Arteterapia: tipos, beneficios y relación con la psicología del color at viviendolasalud.com

References:

Bassols, M. (2006). El arteterapia, un acompañamiento en la creación y la transformación. Arteterapia. Papeles de arteterapia y educación artística para la inclusión social, 1, 19-25.

Duncan, N. (2007). Trabajar con las Emociones en Arteterapia. Arteterapia. Papeles de arteterapia y educación artística para la inclusión social, 2, 39-49.

Espinosa, F. J. C., & Rodríguez, J. M. B. (2006). Arteterapia: dinámicas entre creación y procesos terapéuticos. EDITUM.

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