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What is Art Therapy and How it helps Release Stress

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Art Therapy

January 23, 2020 | HealthMental Health


Health Mental Health what is art therapy:


Art is an expression of the author’s emotions, imaginations, and experiences. It involves diverse mediums like painting, sculpture, music, dance, and film. The people who are linked to art medium in any way describe art as a flow of their thinking that soothes them from mental strains and stress . In this way, art functions as a therapy to release stress and be healthy, and it is called art therapy.

What is Art Therapy anyway?


Art therapy is a remedy to examine the psychological and emotional behaviors of people who are suffering from any dilemma, either mental or substantial. It’s a self-exertion through various creative mediums like painting, drawing, collage, and sculpting to understand the inner feelings and emotions of a suffering person. In other words, art therapy is defined as, “A form of psychotherapy involving the encouragement of free self-expression through painting, drawing, or modeling, used as a remedial or diagnostic activity”.


How does Art Therapy Work?


It depends on the counseling sessions between the client and the therapist. The therapist convinces the suffered person to draw a painting or a drawing for the expression of their inner thoughts. The art which is created by a depressed person is not an expression of his creativity, but it’s an exposure of his inner feeling from the unconscious mind.

The experts better understand the meaning of the clients’ drawings and paintings to interpret their created lines and colors. The colors and patterns of lines exhibit their mental disturbance that later helps to resolve the issue. It acts as a decoding system to resolve the matter through art therapy and that’s the way we know.


The art therapy deals with the following disorders to heel the suffered persons from:


  • Anxiety
  • Mental Stress.
  • Psychological disorders.
  • Depression
  • To raise self-esteem.
  • Survival against addiction.
  • Resolve personal relations
  • Physical illness.


How does Art Therapy help to Release Stress?


Stress has become the center of attraction in this age. It’s the most spreading dilemma of time in which enormous people are going through. Stress adversely affects mentally as well as physically like anxiety, depression, addiction, and many more all are inventions of stress. Psychologists and natural sciences are trying to find out remedies to deal with stress and to save the world from its disasters.

Art therapy is proved favorable in releasing stress through artistic media like art, sculpting, painting, writing, music, and dance. Its outcome is quite beneficial to deal with the stress and get tension-free. Adopting any medium of art gives expression to your inner voice and suppressed feelings.

Sometimes it happens that you might be getting through a serious financial crisis or unhappy relationship with your partner or any other, that you are unable to describe your pain and give words to your feelings. It helps you to get rid of your stress and awful emotions.


Drawing as an art therapy


Drawing has considered a source of interest and fun for children, but it has another impact on the life of adults. It is one of the artistic sources that help release stress. During art therapy sessions are held either in groups or individually to draw your thoughts, emotions, and painful feelings.

There is no need for perfection or creativity to make a drawing, you have to draw, and whatever you are feeling and thinking. It could be irregular lines, random pictures, and the scenario from your unconscious mind. In this way, you can transfer your hurting despair onto the paper to calm yourself and release your stress.


Painting as an art therapy


Painting is another remarkable art therapy to get rid of stress and stress-related problems like anxiety, depression, and psychological disorders. The research has shown that keeping your mind busy in drawing and painting to forget about the worries and release stress is quite significant.

Making the painting of any cheerful object like a flower, a natural scene, and a person’s face makes you happy and releases the serotonin that helps to raise the level of pleasure and empowers you to overcome the negative thoughts. It also boosts the gratitude feeling that leads you towards a peaceful state.




It is quite important to find out the manners to release daily stress that may be in the form of your favorite hobby to spare a little time from your hectic routine. Art and craft are getting popular among art therapy these days as a stress releaser.

It makes you relaxed to create a model with a scratch that turns your mind to forget about apprehensions, and you can exert your depression with creative activities adopting this healing therapy.




Coloring is not just a childish instrument to have fun and enjoyment. There are also coloring books for adults to beat depression and anxiety. It’s also a part of art therapy to color randomly in a way you want. Using different colors alleviate depression and release stress.

Coloring is also a part of healing therapy to use colors to express your distressing feelings and become tense free and enjoy your life peacefully.


Advantages of Art Therapy


Art therapy is the healing remedy for this modern age to release stress and overcome mental and physical disorders to be healthy and enjoy life with all its colors. It has proved favorable as cathartic and creative at the same time to become depression-free.


The Catharsis of Emotions


Art therapy provides you a way to express your hurt feelings with various mediums of art. It is a catharsis of your emotions to overcome the distress situations and release the stress that is quite essential for a calm life.


Expression of Depression


The paramount stress releaser is the expression of your depression in a form that you want, either through painting or writing. Give your hopelessness a new light with a throwaway to your awful emotions.


Stress Relief


During the art therapy sessions, the surveys suggest that the suffered persons appreciate it as a stress reliever. They feel light and peaceful after the sessions. The art is like a crux of your desperation that releases your stress and moves you towards a life full of zeal.


Overcome Addiction


The continuous stress turns your immune system weaker and you become addicted to various drugs. You didn’t have enough power to resist the harmful things that further adverse your health. Through art therapy sessions, you become strong enough to defend against the addiction and to move with a new resolution.


Be Yourself


It makes you more confident if you are a healthy and stress-free person. If you are passing through any depressing circumstances so that will turn you dull and unhealthy. On the other hand, get rid of dejection and be yourself that will raise your self-esteem and release your stress.


Interview Your Psychologist


Inquire about a phone or in-person meeting to see if you click with the therapist. Consultations with art therapists vary in cost. In either case, it is best to gather as much information as possible before making a decision. Choosing not to work with a therapist who is not a good fit for you is never wrong, even if you have invested a few sessions before realizing this. A good therapist will be willing to discuss this with you and may be able to make additional suggestions.


Things to Think About


If you or someone you care about is considering art therapy, there are some common myths and truths to know.


No Need to Be Creative


Art therapy is suitable for all ages, including children, teenagers, and adults. Some studies suggests that just being around art might help improve mental health.

A 2017 study indicated that hospital art contributed to a safe environment for patients. It also helped improve socialization and identification outside the hospital.


It’s Not an Art Class


People frequently ask how art therapy differs from art classes. Art therapy, unlike art classes, focuses on the client’s inner experience.

Art allows people to focus on their own perceptions, imagination, and emotions. Clients are encouraged to make work that reflects their inner world rather than their outer environment.


Art Therapy Can Be Used in Many Settings


Art therapy can be provided in inpatient, outpatient, school, and community settings. Art therapy is also accessible in various venues, such as:

Studios of art

Universities and colleges

Centres communautaire

Correctional institutions

Elementary and secondary schools

Homes for the Elderly

shelters for the homeless


Private therapists

Centers for residential therapy

Senior Centers

a health spa

Shelters for women

Finding an appropriate venue for specialized media or equipment might be difficult.


Not Everyone Should Try Art Therapy


Art therapy is not for everyone. As a result, many adults who believe they aren’t creative or artistic may be hesitant or dubious of the process.

Art therapy is also not useful for all mental health issues. For example, one meta-analysis concluded that art therapy does not reduce positive or negative symptoms of schizophrenia.




Incorrect use of “art therapy” is common owing to ignorance of the profession. Such situations allow for correct information and public education. With this in mind, the AATA advocates outreach to individuals or businesses that mislabel activities (such non-art therapist training) or items (like adult coloring books) as “art therapy.” For further information,




Many people use art to cope with illness. Much of what we eat is derived from plants and animals (cancer, heart disease, influenza, etc.).


This type of therapy also assists persons with mental diseases (chronic depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, etc.). While the effectiveness of art therapy varies depending on the mental condition, people can escape the emotional effects of numerous disorders through art production and many creative approaches.


Art can help people communicate their feelings when they are unable to convey them verbally. “Art therapy allows people to explore their history, present, and future via art.”


Art can help soothe the overwhelming emotions connected with illness; the creative expression of emotions is limitless.


Hospitals have discovered that patients who participate in art programs have improved their vitals and sleep better.


A landscape painting in a hospital room lessens the need for narcotic painkillers and recovery time.


Art in hospitals also helped stabilize vital signs, speed up healing, and generally convey a sense of hope and soul to patients. Family, caregivers, doctors, and nurses benefit.


Art therapy can help people with general illnesses express their experiences and emotions in ways that words may not be able to communicate. If you are not comfortable sharing your emotions with others but trust a canvas or a sheet of paper to keep them, art can help.


Diagnosis of cancer


Art remedy has been proven to assist most cancers sufferers in several trials. Art remedy has been confirmed to assist sufferers to address demanding conditions like chemotherapy.

Art therapists have studied why a few most cancers sufferers use artwork to manage and create an advantageous identification out of doors of being a most cancers affected person.

They have a look at‘s girls took artwork training starting from pottery and card making to drawing and portray. The periods helped them reestablish an experience of self-identification, ease emotional tormented by their most cancers battle, and provide them a desire for destiny. A have a look at girls with most cancers observed that:

Creating visible artwork (textiles, cards, collage, ceramics, watercolor, acrylics) aided those women in 4 methods. First, it allows them to attention to glad lifestyles activities rather than traumatic approximately most cancers.

Second, it boosted their shallowness and identification via way of means of permitting them to reveal continuity, challenge, and achievement.

Third, it allowed them to hold a social identification in spite of most cancers.

Finally, it gave them a symbolic manner to specific themselves, especially in the course of chemotherapy.

A 2nd have a look at observed that folks that engaged in those sports have been discharged earlier than individuals who did now no longer.

Another have a look at observed artwork remedy useful for lady breast most cancers sufferers.

Studies have proven that artwork remedies can dramatically enhance sufferers‘ emotional states and signs. Using the innovative procedure has additionally been confirmed to lessen the emotional soreness of most cancers sufferers.

Throughout the treatment, the girls drew themselves, did yoga, and meditated, which helped relieve positive signs. Also, 111 humans participated in a have a look at mindfulness-primarily based totally artwork remedy, which mixes meditation and artwork.

The intervention’s efficacy becomes assessed through the use of QOL, bodily signs, depression, and tension. This led to a large lower in misery and development in exceptional lifestyles. Wood, Molassiotis, and Payne (2010) tested the emotional, social, bodily, and worldwide functioning, in addition to nonsecular problems of most cancers sufferers in a meta-evaluation of 12 research.

They determined that artwork remedies can assist humans to address the loss and uncertainty of surviving most cancers. Art remedy may additionally create an experience of “meaning-making” thru the bodily procedure of making artwork.

Art remedy, supplied 5 instances per week for 5 weeks, helped most cancers sufferers understand their personal barriers in regard to others’ needs. Those who obtained artwork remedy felt extra related to others and loved social engagement extra than individuals who did now no longer acquire artwork remedy. Art remedy additionally more suitable affected person motivation, ability to deal with emotional and bodily health, popular well-being, and worldwide exceptional of lifestyles.


In summary, short-time period artwork remedy can drastically enhance intellectual country and exceptional of lifestyles whilst lowering perceived signs associated with most cancers diagnosis.


Disaster remedy


Art remedy has been utilized in catastrophe remedy and disaster intervention. After herbal and man-made disasters, artwork therapists have labored with kids, adolescents, and adults to create artwork. An experience of protection and balance is extended via way of means of assessing for misery or PTSD and normalizing feelings.

Dementia Art remedy has been proven to advantage dementia sufferers of all ages. Because mobility is a concern, it’s far essential that the artwork gear be easy to apply and understand. Art remedy seems to assist with behavioral troubles however now no longer intellectual decline. Qualitative proof indicates benefits.

Art remedy had no impact on reminiscence or emotional well-being. Alzheimer’s Association says artwork and track can assist human beings specific themselves.


Autism As those assets display, artwork remedy is more and more diagnosed as a manner to assist human beings with autism. Art remedy may also assist with autism signs and symptoms via way of means of selling sensory regulation, psychomotor development, and communication. Art remedy permits self-expression, visible communication, and creativity.




A 2005 systematic overview of artwork remedy for schizophrenia determined blended results. Ongoing organization artwork remedy has been proven to advantage schizophrenic Art remedy did now no longer enhance CGI or GAF, however, the use of haptic artwork substances to specific feelings, cognitions, and perceptions in a collection placing decreased miserable themes extended self-esteem, and facilitated the integrative healing system for human beings with schizophrenia. Studies display that cognitive-behavioral remedy works high quality for this disorder.


geriatrics patients


Regev’s studies suggest that geriatric artwork remedy is powerful in treating aged depression, however now no longer dementia. Group remedy outperformed man or woman sessions.


Trauma and children

Art remedies can assist with demanding feelings like disgrace and anger. Encouraging kids to make selections of their paintings may assist trauma survivors sense empowered and in control.

Art remedy, in conjunction with psychotherapy, decreased trauma signs and symptoms extra than psychotherapy by myself. The visible nature of demanding reminiscences may also make artwork the handiest manner to get the right of entry to them.

Art remedy may also assist kids to make the experience of demanding activities and shaping correct trauma narratives. Gradual publicity to those tales may also assist lessen trauma signs and symptoms like flashbacks. nightmares Creating visible narratives enables customers to increase coping competencies and a balanced worried system.

This most effective works with a long-time period artwork remedy. Group artwork remedies can assist traumatized youngsters. The organization layout enables survivors to connect to others who’ve been thru comparable situations.

Group artwork remedy may assist traumatized youngsters to regain belief and social self-esteem. Participants in organization artwork remedy generally have fine reports and benefit inner validation.

Veterans and PTSD Art remedy has been used to deal with veterans for the reason that 1945, in keeping with the American Art Therapy Association.

Art remedy can assist fight veterans to get the right of entry to reminiscences and interact in treatment. The mixture of artwork and cognitive processing remedy (CPT) became determined to be extra useful than CPT by me in 2016. Art remedy is used to deal with PTSD at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and different Veteran Association facilities.




Many therapists use artwork remedies to assist the ones who’ve lately misplaced a cherished one. This can be useful whilst customers are not able to specific their loss and surprise verbally and rather use innovative methods to achieve this.

It has been used to assist kids specific their grief once they lack the adulthood to achieve this verbally.




According to a 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, less than an hour of creative activity can reduce your stress and have a positive effect on your mental health, regardless of artistic experience or talent. (

doi:10.3389%2Ffpsyg.2018.01531 Regev D, Cohen-Yatziv L. Effectiveness of art therapy with adult clients in 2018 what progress has been made. (

According to O*NET OnLine, almost 25% also continued their education and earned certification after attaining their master’s degree. (

An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase) (

35% said very importantly Do you have group discussions every day in this job? (




Continuous stress causes health destruction, disturbed stomach, serious diseases, psychological disorders, forgetfulness, and many more. So, it’s a matter of concern to release the stress through a therapeutic medium like art therapy. If you ever feel so depressed and stressed all the time, consult the therapist for your concern to enjoy life with all its colors and resolve the issues of stress.

Please leave your valuable experience in the comment box.

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Frequently Asked Questions:




Where Can I Find an Art Therapist?

In the United States, the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) works to raise public awareness of art therapy and encourage its growth. has a therapist locator page. Like most state chapters of the professional organization. This is a good start.

What Should I Look For In An Art Therapist?

ATR is an Art Therapist Registered with the ATCB who has completed all educational and post-graduate requirements. Unregistered and uncertified art therapists are identified by the letters ATR-BC. All education and post-graduate requirements have been met by an ATCS. These individuals have also gained experience as supervisors of ATR-Ps. The ATCB requires proof of education, internship, and post-graduate supervised clinical hours.
To keep their credentials, art therapists must follow strict professional ethics and continue their education. While working with a credentialed art therapist is not guaranteed, working with an uncredentialed art therapist is also not guaranteed.
These laws are critical, as many states do not currently regulate art therapy. The ATCB regulates all national credentials for art therapists and handles disciplinary actions for infractions. has a list of accredited art therapists.
Second, knowing what you need and want will help you find an art therapist who is a good fit for you. Begin by asking yourself basic questions like do you want to work with a male or female therapist, one who facilitates your experience or puts you in control, one who creates alongside you or watches you create? Notate your responses.
Third, look for an art therapist with experience their own style and specialty in the area you need help.
Who has the art therapist working with the most? Describe any additional training or certifications and how they relate to your needs.
Fourth, ask about the art therapist’s clinical philosophy and see if it aligns with your own. Art therapists are trained to be sensitive to differences in race, religion, and sexual orientation. For example, some art therapists follow a medical model and focus on pathology, while others focus on strengths. Their fundamental approach can shape your entire relationship with them. You may not know what you seek, but when you ask this question, take note of your reaction. Positive resonance will likely prompt further discussion to clarify.


Art therapists are expert clinicians who deal with clients of all ages. Their education and supervised training qualify them to deal with various individuals in a number of situations. Art therapists help persons with medical and mental health issues, as well as those seeking emotional, artistic, and spiritual growth.

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