Art therapy is not just an arts and crafts class!

It's a recognized mental health profession.

The purpose of art therapy is to improve the emotional, mental and physical well being of those who participate.

Art Therapists are trained mental health professionals who put their extensive knowledge in human development, psychological theories and techniques, and the arts to work, by helping clients improve their psychological health, cognitive abilities, and sensory-motor functions.

According to The American Art therapy Association, participation in art therapy encourages emotional expression through non-verbal communication.

Participation in the arts involves the body and brain in ways that verbal language and more traditional therapies cannot.

It provides an alternative form of communication for those who cannot express their problems or pain with words.

Art Therapists can be found working in a variety of settings including: hospitals, schools, psychiatric facilities, wellness centers, rehab facilities, crisis centers, senior centers, private practice, and community settings.

Art Therapy can be useful for treating individuals, couples, and families who are dealing with PTSD, cancer, traumatic brain injury, autism, dementia, depression, abuse victims, victims of disasters, and other mental and physical health conditions.

Art Therapists can help clients:

  • Explore feelings
  • Resolve emotional struggles
  • Cultivate self awareness
  • Manage behavior and addictions
  • Develop social skills
  • Manage anxiety
  • Increase self-esteem.
  • Help clients with trust issues develop close bonds with not only their therapist, but with family members and friends as well!

Want to see how your loved one with special needs might respond to creating art?

Try the following art therapy activities and ideas

  • Make a collage
  • Draw in sand
  • Make a sand sculpture
  • Make a clay or playdough sculpture
  • Color in a coloring book
  • Finger paint
  • Draw or paint your emotions
  • Draw or paint faces depicting different emotions
  • Draw or paint a mountain and a valley
  • Create an art journal
  • Design a post card for someone your are upset with but never send it
  • Attach a drawing and/or a message to a balloon and let it go
  • Paint to music
  • Draw with your eyes closed
  • Glue tissue paper scraps to a canvas then decoupage it

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