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What is Art Therapy

Art is one of the oldest forms of communication and self-expression. Even in the earliest days of our world, humans created works of art, first in the form of cave paintings and later in less “primitive” manners. Art has always been used to help tell a story.
Today, proven research in neuroscience shows us  that creative expressions such as art are linked to our subconscious minds. For example, even if we aren’t consciously aware of certain feelings and emotions, they will often show themselves in our artistic creations. The reasoning behind this is that many people often find it easier to express themselves through more artistic means rather than through verbal communication.  Some times just words are not enough to heal or even process. Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that can be used in a therapeutic setting using a variety of art materials such as drawing, painting, sculpting, collage, and writing. With trauma, feeling and memories get stored in the body and the part of the brain where there are no words. Any trauma that occurred pre-verbally would also get stored as a sensory experience with little or no words. Art therapy creates a safe and healthy way to access and participate in the integrating process of these memories in the brain and body.
Art therapy is a form of therapy that uses art as the primary form of therapeutic expression. Therapists in this field can help their clients interpret and understand their feelings and emotions through the art that they create. The actual process of creating art is therapeutic in and of itself. It's about the process and not the end product. It's not about making "good" art or "happy" art. This is art from the inside and it's not always going to look "pretty".
This form of therapy has a number of different positive effects on most people. Art therapy, for instance, can help a trauma victim tell their story. It can help integrate a traumatic experience to let the client find a voice, make sense of the trauma, and find solutions to overcome it. . Creative art therapy can also help empower a client when working through fears and loss and help people feel more in control of their lives. It can also raise self-esteem, help them express themselves better, help them communicate more effectively, and gain a better insight on their lives.


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