benefits of art therapy
One benefit of art therapy that isn’t usually in other therapies is the lack of verbal communication and a focus on visual communication. As said in our weekly reading, people with Autism Spectrum Disorders have a deficit in imagination and abstract thinking skills, and using visual communication such as art therapy helps lessen symptoms and replace them with more appropriate social skills. Visual communication also helps adults and children who go to art therapy, but don’t understand what is going on in their head and lives or don’t know where to start. The second benefit of art therapy not normally associated with other therapies is that art therapy allows a patient to express dark feelings and thoughts more easily than in talk therapy alone. As said in one of the readings this week, art is symbolic which allows for more room to express said dark/negative emotions and possibly get to the root of the problem quicker or to find more ways to help the patient.
As for which benefit I identify with more, I believe I relate more to the first benefit I wrote about. Having a relationship and trust with a therapist is one of the most important things, so when something doesn’t click it might be easier to not talk, or for someone who gets social anxiety, such as myself, not being forced to talk can be a huge benefit.
Hi Madelyn! I definitely agree with you that trusting your therapist is very important and it can sometimes be very hard to open up and talk to a stranger about your feelings. I also suffer from a little bit of social anxiety and that makes it very hard to be upfront and open around a therapist. So this nonverbal expression of thoughts and feelings can be very useful as a different form of therapy.
Art therapy has many benefits that are not usually associated with other therapeutic modalities and we learned about some of them in this week’s reading. For example, in the Excerpt from Erin E. Carter. (2013) he discusses how art therapy can be known as a less threatening form of therapy because it tends to provide ” a bridge between the client and the therapist and assists in the healing and communication process.” Because it is easier to communicate it then tends to be easier for the patient to access his or her painful experiences. Also, another benefit of art therapy is it is helpful for social skills such as a project for “collaboration and imaginative play.” And can also help people with disabilities achieve insight within themselves and others. If choosing one I had to identify with it would be the first one I discussed. I think other therapy can sometimes be scary and upfront rather than art therapy is less threatening and helps lean into painful experiences.
Art therapy is so unique because of its many benefits that are not typically associated with other therapeutic modalities. One would be the fact that it normalizes a clients experiences through the artistic process and another would be that art therapy allows for unspoken expression of art utilized by both the client and the therapist. Art is something that naturally occurs in many different surroundings that a client may come into contact with. These settings include schools, churches, and community centers. Because art naturally occurs in settings surrounding a client, the creative process of making art helps to normalize experiences that a client may be having. Because art therapy involves expression through art, it doesn’t necessarily involve verbal communication between a client and therapist. The client can express their feeling through art and the therapist can then analyze this art.
The one unique value of art therapy that I would identify most with is the nonverbal relationship between client and therapist. I used to go to talk therapy and most of the time it just consisted of me sitting there in silence because I either didn’t feel like talking or I didn’t know how to express what I was feeling through words. Art therapy probably would have been very useful to me at that time in my life because I could have been able to express my feelings through art instead of verbal communication.
We have the same part of art therapy that we identify with. While I have never been to a therapist, yet. I need to go. I have so much trouble expressing how I feel or what I think to people who ask or need to know like significant others. I know what I am thinking and how I feel but when I try to relate that into words I always feel as though I am just getting the very edge of it and can’t find the words to really get inside. It is so frustrating.
Two of the benefits to art therapy that stood out to me this week were its ability to be non-verbal and the fact that it can really help anyone that is on the ASD.
Art therapy is such a great outlet for those of us who have a hard time saying how we think or feel. It allows the creative process to take over and tells the therapist things that we may not be able to with our words. This is the one that I familiarize with the most. I am often trying to explain how I feel and I cannot find the words for it. Either because I am having a hard time figuring out how I feel or because I don’t know the words that describe it just right. This happens pretty frequently with the situations and relationships that I have been in and it isn’t even just for the bad or hard things to say. This happens to me when I am trying to express how happy or excited I am, I just don’t feel like anything that I say can match the way I truly feel. This is very different from other traditional therapies where your only option is to talk about how you feel, even if you don’t necessarily have the correct words and that is all your therapist has to go off of. Where in art therapy they have your words, plus your creative process, or one or the other.
While ASD and non-verbal some what go to together art therapist who want to help those on the ASD they need to have a specialization to do so where the non-verbal part just comes with the creative process of art therapy. Art therapy being able to help those with ASD is so crucial in their development. While traditional therapists may not be able to communicate properly or get enough information from the patient who has trouble communicating art therapists can use the creative process to both listen and teach. This lets the patient feel heard and understood which is so important in getting them to feel comfortable enough to learn and grow from the therapist.