The Therapeutic Qualities of Art

Written by on September 2, 2011 in Mind

Many Americans feel depressed, stressed, or exhausted on a daily basis. Negative emotions can overwhelm an individual and have detrimental effects on the mind. For certain people, medication seems like an extreme way to improve their mental health so instead they look for alternative methods. Joining a therapy group and regularly visiting a psychologist are tried and true steps to recovery. But have you ever considered art as a way to channel your emotions?

child painting

There are three paths for unlocking the therapeutic qualities of art. Either you can enroll in an inexpensive art class at a community center, visit an art therapist, or simply become a self- taught artist. For the very ambitious, you can combine the three techniques. Even if you do not have a natural talent for painting and drawing does not mean you cannot enjoy being an artist. Don’t compare yourself to great artists, just focus on the processes of creating art.

Enrolling in an art class is the most straightforward method to learning the techniques of art. The structured setting of an art class helps people completely focus on a specific task. And at the end of the course, you are left with a sense of accomplishment and an increase in self-esteem. The satisfaction of creation is beneficial for everyone, whether they are struggling with emotions or are completely stable.

Like dreams, art can be a gateway to the unconscious. Art is composed of symbols which can be interpreted as meaningful messages. Often art can reveal hidden conflicts and desires. By examining an artwork, a therapist is able to interpret the patients thoughts and direct them to the road of healing. Art therapists, like other counselors and psychologists, are a crutch for the personal growth of a patient.

Working on art projects at home is a great task to keep focused. When creating a work of art, one can become lost in the process, leaving the difficulties of life behind. Also, becoming goal oriented is extremely important for people who suffer from depression or ADD/ADHD. Purchasing a beginners “how to” book is a great way to start your new hobby.

The expressive qualities of art help individuals focus on their complicated emotions. Having a creative outlet is a great way to release inner thoughts and feelings. Famous artists such as Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock and Vincent van Gogh have used art as a medium to convey their emotions. So why not give art a try and see what you can create?

To find the nearest art therapist to you, visit

Photo: Attribution Some rights reserved by Clotee Allochuku

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