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Art Therapy



It is a commonly held belief that art therapy is for those who are "good at art." Art therapy has nothing to do with being good at art. Have you ever heard someone say that they don't know how they are feeling or that how they are feeling is hard to describe? A wide array of complications can result when we cannot or do not find expression for our innermost thoughts and feelings. By using art as a modality to give form to our inner experience not only are we able to become more clear about how we are feeling and why we are feeling that way, we can use that  visual representation as a platform for expressing ourselves verbally. There is great healing power in getting something unexpressed off of your chest and out into the open. To then be heard and understood by someone else is an essential aspect of the therapeutic process.




You may argue that you have no problem expressing yourself and find it rather easy to say what you're thinking and how you are feeling. However, just because one can talk about their thoughts, feelings, and experiences, it does not mean that they either have or are gaining any insight into the nature of that which is getting in their way of feeling better and doing better. We need to be able to see things in a different, new, and useful way; Making art to represent ourselves makes that possible by allowing us to see things from an outside perspective. It also makes the process of self-reflection, a necessary component of insight and change, easier because the art provides a concrete form of ourselves to view and reflect upon.




Behavioral Change

Perhaps the most difficult step in the therapeutic process is turning  insight into action and making changes for the better in everyday life. Making art that represents the way we'd like to think, feel, and do things allows us to practice new ways of being in a non-threatening manner. As a result, we are likely to feel less anxious when presented with opportunities to practice the new behaviors outside of the therapy room and therefore more likely to do them. If you can see it, you can be it.

Click on the link below to read the latest research on art therapy and depression
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