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5 Benefits of Art Therapy for Mental Health

Art therapy has been known to help people struggling with psychological, social, and developmental impairment. There are many studies proving its effectiveness. There are even pieces of evidence that reported art therapy being able to reduce depression and anxiety among people.

However, it is not uncommon for people to question if it really works or not.

Here are the top 5 mental health benefits of art therapy.

Communication through art therapy
Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Helps people cope with pain

According to an RTOR (Resources to Recover) report, art therapy improves the mental health of people dealing with pain, grief, loss, and even addiction. Instead of people being disappointed in the result of their creative expression, they are encouraged to focus on the process of it all. In that process, it is reported that an individual is able to find deeper value to life and everything that surrounds it. In a sense, art therapy enables people to rest their minds. There are even cases wherein art therapy helps people with PTSD and trauma.

Improves self-esteem and self-discovery

Art therapy is for all ages. Many parents get their kids to do it to improve their creativity and help build their self-esteem. Nowadays, it is easy for children to access the internet. With that, there are chances wherein they find themselves consuming content that would impact their confidence or self-esteem negatively. That can be devastating for kids. That is why it is good to consider activities that can improve a child’s self-esteem. For adults, it is a way of self-discovery. A method to better recognize and understand deep feelings that are hard to comprehend. It is not a mystery that the majority of adults these days can’t fully understand how they feel and why they feel that way. That makes it difficult to let things go for them. Enhancing an individual’s self-discovery is to enable him or her to have a better quality of life.

Enhances communication and concentration

Art in its entirety is a form of communication. Either you are talking to yourself or to someone else. Art therapy is just like that, it helps people communicate better. Not only that, but it also boosts concentration because it can reduce the feeling of isolation. Different art therapy techniques like painting, scribbling, carving, writing, and even doodling can have a powerful impact on people. This strongly aligns with number 2’s point of allowing people to better understand their feelings.

Improves creativity

A creative mind is an engaged mind. People who are creative tend to come up with better ideas may it be related to work or personal life. Creativity is not just about creating something visually stunning or beautiful. It is also about expanding to be more mindful of what is going on around you.

Helps people grow

Whether it’s emotional, mental, or even spiritual, art therapy can help people grow in so many ways. Like what is mentioned above, art therapy helps people cope with pain, improve self-discovery better communicate, and be more creative. All those things can lead to authentic growth that would enable an individual to have a better perspective on life.

Breaking down mental health stigma with art therapy

Mental health matters
Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Despite millions of people struggling with mental health, most of them still refuse or are reluctant to seek professional help. One of the top reasons behind that is the gigantic stigma haunting mental health. Because of that, people believe that others would think less of them if they sought help for mental health issues.

Art therapy can be a step in the right direction when it comes to breaking down that stigma. This discipline engages the mind and it is an effective mindfulness technique. Mental health is a global issue and it is important that together, we break down the many barriers that stop people from getting help.

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