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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Baker, MA

Art Therapy to Overcome Emotional Issues

Traumatic events can happen to anyone at any time. People may experience mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety following a traumatic event. Some may even suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. This is not a sign of weakness. These symptoms are our brain’s normal response to an event that one perceived as dangerous or life threatening. They need to undergo therapy in order to overcome their symptoms and help them heal emotionally.

It may surprise you to learn that art can be an effective tool in mental health treatment. For over 100 years, art therapy has been used as a form of treatment for mental illness and has been shown to heal people from the effects of emotional trauma. However, it wasn’t until the 20th century that art therapy began to formalize. Since then, it has become an important part of the therapeutic world.

How art therapy helps

Art therapy is particularly helpful in cases of trauma as it provides patients an instrument for self expression, overcome stress and recover from the memories of a painful past.

One of the beauties of art as therapy is that it allows a person to express themselves without having to speak. Often times, humans are incapable of expressing themselves through words – either because they are too young, suffered from stroke or they have yet overcome the fear caused by a traumatic event. Through art therapy, they are given the chance to explore and express feelings, reduce emotional suffering and get back to living life again.

You may be wondering how art therapy differs from the average art class. Here, it’s not about creating a beautiful painting, drawing or sculpture, it is more about expressing one’s self and helping patients better understand themselves through creative means.

As they begin to express their emotions through art, they will then learn to freely express their deepest feelings through shapes, forms, colors and texture and clear the way for healing to begin.

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