Art is Therapy

Art therapy is becoming a more commonplace way for people to express themselves, but there is some concern over whether or not it is effective.

Allyssa Gauer, Columnist

Therapies come in various forms. From physical therapy or talk therapy, to art therapy, people have come up with some extraordinary ways to help those in need. Art therapy, in particular, uses drawing, painting, and sculpting figures that represent their emotions to help with depression, self regulation, and in some ways, growth.

Teens all over the world suffer from emotional, mental, or physical issues, and the majority of the time, they don’t feel comfortable verbally expressing their feelings. Since most teens know what therapists want to hear, they simply tell them that, according to Newport Academy, but they can’t hide their feelings as easily in art. Newport Academy also states that using creativity to create artwork eases depression by releasing a chemical called dopamine, which creates a feeling of happiness or pleasure.

Learning and growth are also benefits of art therapy. CRC Health states that people involved in art therapy learn how to address situations, such as complex relationships, drama, and agony by advancing their social skills. According to George Town Behavioral, growth can quicken when people have a way to convey their negative and positive emotions, whether that comes through working in a group or alone. Although art therapy is targeted towards teens or older children, it is still useful for all ages, and can be helpful for any life scenario.  

While drawing, painting, sculpting, or doing any other crafty activity, self esteem is gained, as well as a better mood. PBS says that adolescents learn self respect by taking compliments and constructive criticism for their work. These skills are later put to work when in school or working with a group. Confidence also improves self esteem, and art therapy teaches concentration and dedication which leads to confidence. In Counseling, a therapist explains that the students didn’t want to participate in the art activity at the beginning, but once they were engaged, they enjoyed it. Art improved their mood over the course of just one, single activity.

Overall, art therapy is a way to express feelings and emotions that are difficult to translate into words. Not only does it give people an opportunity to reveal their thoughts, but has many benefits that continue to help communities around the globe.