Thursday, February 5, 2015

Expression Through the Arts

When we are stressed, depressed, or angry our thoughts tend to get locked away. It's hard to express how we feel and instead we hold it all inside. Some people have a hard to time due to disabilities and feel trapped because they have no way to release their inner feelings. Although talk therapy is very helpful and can be a great way to get everything out in the open, many people, especially adolescents, have a difficult time finding the right words to say. This is why Art Therapy is generally sought out. It's an amazing alternative and allows, not only those who cannot find the words to express themselves, but all types of people.

In an article that the American Art Therapy Association released, they explain the benefits and requirements of Art Therapy. This job is not just for those who know art, but there is a lot of different disciplines that intertwine together in order to help understand those who seek therapeutic art.

The article begins by explaining what art therapy is. It describes it as "a mental health profession in which clients, facilitated by the art therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem." With so much that goes into it, one must be well adapt to handle any and all situations, and as the article continues on, it begins to explain who benefits from Art Therapy. It's mind blowing to see all the types of people that can use this creative treatment as a way to improve one's lifestyle.

As previously stated, Art Therapy requires interdisciplinary work because there's so much involved. Although there is much more that is involved, education usually includes "theories of art therapy, counseling, and psychotherapy; ethics and standards of practice; assessment and evaluation; individual, group, and family art therapy techniques; human and creative development; multicultural issues; research methods; and internship experiences in clinical, community, and/or other settings." With my own previous research, I have discovered things such as anthropology, social work, physical health, and much more also apply. Of course the two main disciplines include art and psychology, but there's so much more that's required in order to help someone out.

The reason I chose to read this article and share it with all of you is because I believe Art Therapy should be more widely conveyed. Not many people know this exists and it's something I believe everyone should know about. It's also fascinating to read about all of the people who can use Art Therapy and everything that an Art Therapist needs under their belt in order to be successful.

I hope that one day I will have the ability to be apart of such a wonderful field. Currently I am worker towards this degree so I can help out those who struggle at finding their voice. Art Therapy is something that really interests me and I hope this post helps enlightens all of those who read it!

If you have any further questions or comments, please share them! I'd love to hear what everyone has to say.

You can also click here to read the article!


  1. I believe that Art Therapy has a great potential. In the modern and hectic world, it is necessary to use therapies like this. The advantage is that you don't have to be a professional because it is for anyone. I believe that Art Therapy is very beneficial and it can help to treat various mental disorders. I was wondering, do you have to get any type of certification in order to become an art therapist?

    1. Yes you do! It is still a therapy and you must get your Master's Degree in order to become certified.
      The link listed explains in more detail what is required in order to become an Art Therapist.

  2. I especially like that list of all of the different fields that converge together to build this one. I had of course thought about Psychology and Art, but it's really interesting to think about all the ancillary fields that need to be called on as well (like sociology, for understanding things like racism or poverty in context; or gender studies, for similar issues related to sexual abuse; along with assessment practices from social sciences and on and on and on. A really complex field, which I think most people mistakenly think of as simple. Well described here!