Expression Through Art: The 5 Benefits of Art Therapy
Art therapy is beneficial during and after treatment. Art therapy refers giving people the tools and freedom necessary to fully express themselves through art, whether it be painting, drawing or using multimedia, like clay. Art therapy is a popular component to addiction treatment and provides many great benefits to supplement sobriety. Art therapy can be beneficial for anyone and is a healthy habit to continue to practice following treatment, as well. Though there are many benefits to artistic expression, we will look at five:
- Boost confidence. Art therapy can promote self-confidence in more ways than one. Using our hands to create something and challenge ourselves can be a natural mood booster and stress reliever, thanks to our feel-good endorphins that can release during the activity. This mood-boost can link confidence to creative expression and increase overall self-esteem.
Furthermore, you might be surprised at how artistic you are! Using art therapy can boost confidence by showing people what they can achieve with focus and creativity. For example, setting a goal of drawing a cow and then drawing the cow can promote self-confidence, regardless of how talented you may think you are beforehand.
- Increase emotional intelligence. Artistic expression and art therapy can increase emotional intelligence by putting you in touch with your feelings. Using art as a means of self-expression naturally causes you to think about how you presently feel and why you may feel that way. Whether you feel happy, sad, ashamed or elated, art can be used to express your feeling at that moment in time. Using art to express feelings not only boosts emotional intelligence, but it also provides a cathartic release during the activity itself.
- Promote mindfulness. Mindfulness is a buzzed-about topic that refers to one’s practice of being present. In other words, if someone is being mindful, they are not actively thinking about the past or future. While practicing art therapy, it is suggested that clients focus on how they are feeling right now and really absorb the motions and movements of the art itself. It is in this way that individuals practicing art therapy can gain perspective on the present, or mindfulness, versus anxiety about what’s to come
- Emotional healing. Art therapy can sometimes use specific exercises to promote emotional healing during treatment. Using positive affirmations or statements of self-confidence is a common tool in therapeutic art. However, practicing art therapy at home can continue to provide emotional healing. Using art as a way to express emotion and provide self-reflection can help heal past and present problems we may not even be aware of otherwise. Art can also serve as a catalyst to help us problem-solve in other ways later on after becoming more aware of our feelings during the exercise.
- Relapse prevention. Art therapy can help prevent relapse by providing an ongoing health habit to promote wellness following treatment. Because treatment facilities can be all-encompassing, it can be difficult to imagine how to integrate its many components into every day, “real world” life. We believe art therapy is an excellent lifelong habit used in treatment. Continuing artistic expression and therapeutic art is a wonderful way to stay on track by providing all of these benefits on an ongoing basis.
Consider a treatment facility that integrates art therapy as an essential tool in recovery. Treatment facilities which use integral therapies like art and journaling are beneficial in providing techniques that promote long-lasting sobriety and self-confidence. Contact us today to learn more about our holistic approach.