Art Therapy Techniques and Applications


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Art therapy, as defined by the American Art Therapy Association, allows for creative expression that can overcome the limitations of language.

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In other words, if an idea or emotion is too difficult, confusing, or painful to be said, written, or signed, then maybe drawing, painting, sculpting, coloring, sewing, collaging, and many other methods of visual art can surpass the stumbling block of language. Often, this lack of credentials is the norm when it comes to mass-marketed adult coloring books About Art Therapy, Young children often rely on their limited language skills to express complex thoughts and emotions.

That barrier can be breached with methods of expression they understand a little better, like drawing and coloring. Teens also benefit from a pressure-free, consequence-free medium for their thoughts and feelings. Listed below are some possible art therapy activities and exercises for children of all ages. Click here to access the PDF. This activity allows teens to visualize their core values through collage.

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Click here for more information about this exercise. Humans are all tactile creatures, but children especially are touchers, explorers, and curious feelers. Utilizing touch is a way for them to learn about the world and to find comfort. This activity is a form of art therapy that focuses on comforting textures, allowing for a manageable exploration of uncomfortable emotions. Here are the instructions:. In a group with young children, we recommend using materials like glue sticks as opposed to glue bottles and having pre-cut pieces of material ready.

For more information click here. This project may help a child or teen reflect on ways to find a safe space, or may simply help them feel like they have some control over their environment. For more information about this exercise click here. This set of three worksheets includes exercises for children to express their emotions , or to define the things they care about. You can find the worksheets here. Distress from pent-up emotions and complex experiences that need articulation is an especially common experience for people in caring professions. For example, art therapy has been shown to a be a promising therapy for end-of-life caretakers, helping them feel competent, develop emotionally-focused coping skills , and increase emotional awareness, an essential skill to prevent burnout Potash, J.

Caring professionals especially need the defense against burnout that art therapy can provide, but any adult is susceptible to burnout and could use the coping skills taught through art therapy. Below are some activities for adults who need an activity to better understand themselves. While these exercises might not be facilitated by a professional art therapist, many of them were developed and used by art therapists and can still make a difference for the individual seeking release. This activity was created for people who suffer from eating disorders or who have body image problems.

People who suffer from these afflictions often create masks to hide behind that can operate as distractions from other problems, keep others from seeing their suffering, or keep them from seeing their own dysfunction.

Art Therapy, Expressive Arts Therapy, Trauma-Informed Books and More - artchangeslives

Creating the masks can be done individually or in a group setting. If these materials are hard to come by, or this is being done in a group as a one-session activity, you can pre-purchase masks and the materials. You can read more about this exercise here. Activities like this one would be good for children and adults, but an older group or individual might better appreciate the depth and symbolism of the project.

For those who feel lost, overwhelmed, or isolated, expressing those feelings and visualizing hope can be a therapeutic and beautiful way to identify needs, feel hope for the future, and realize where they are on a specific journey. The activity involves imagining being lost at sea and visualizing the ideal lighthouse that would provide the right kind of guidance.

Affirmation and inspiration are the keys to the self-care box. It can be comforting to have something small, tangible, and beautiful in times of trouble. The box can be used as a resource and its ongoing creation can be therapeutic for the participant. By creating a poem from a pool of words collected from sources like magazines, newspapers, and old books, you can create an un-self-conscious poem that molds pre-existing words to your own feelings.

You can read more about this technique here. The Family Sculpture exercise is a popular art therapy exercise that exists in many other therapy types , though in a modified form. It is enlightening for clients to mold their family in a way that represents the members and the dynamics, and it helps them identify problems in relationships that otherwise might have been ignored.

Anxiety can be crippling. It can wreak havoc on your most treasured relationships, make it difficult to leave the house or go to work, and make day-to-day life feel hazardous and lonely. Unfortunately, anxiety goes untreated a much of the time, which means that millions of afflicted adults either have no means of coping with their anxiety or are coping in the ways available to them, which may be doing more harm than good.


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One of the most enlightening parts of art therapy is the process of creation, which is just as revealing as the final product. For people with anxiety, there may be an intense need to finish the project, to clearly delineate the details, and to create subject matter that is universally appealing. This was the situation in a case study conducted by Cherubina Albertini, whose client suffered from agoraphobia with anxiety and panic disorder.


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People with panic disorder can spiral into panic just thinking about the possibility of having a panic attack. Panic can come on without warning in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people. Art therapy has been used in the healing process to relieve stress and develop coping mechanisms, in an effort to treat both the physical and mental needs of the patient.

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Although art therapy has traditionally centered on visual mediums paintings, sculptures, drawings, etc. Ganim, Barbara. Art and healing: using expressive art to heal your body, mind, and spirit.

New York: Three Rivers Press, Psychology Encyclopedia Therapy and Treatments. See also Music therapy Paula Ford-Martin. Further Reading Ganim, Barbara.

Art Therapy Techniques and Applications

Chapter 5. Chapter 6.

Art Therapy : Art Therapy With Children and Adolescents With ADHD

Chapter 7. Puppets and Masks. Chapter 8. Combining modalities. Chapter 9. Chapter The Defensive Client. Computer Assisted Art therapy. Open Art Studio. List of Projects. In Stock. Mess The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes. Art as Therapy.

Art Therapy Techniques and Applications Art Therapy Techniques and Applications
Art Therapy Techniques and Applications Art Therapy Techniques and Applications
Art Therapy Techniques and Applications Art Therapy Techniques and Applications
Art Therapy Techniques and Applications Art Therapy Techniques and Applications
Art Therapy Techniques and Applications Art Therapy Techniques and Applications
Art Therapy Techniques and Applications Art Therapy Techniques and Applications
Art Therapy Techniques and Applications Art Therapy Techniques and Applications
Art Therapy Techniques and Applications Art Therapy Techniques and Applications

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