While popping prescription pills is a common treatment for anxiety and depression, there might be more colorful alternatives. For individuals seeking other treatments, research suggests art therapy may help paint the way to positivity
NOT JUST FOR KIDS — WHY IT MATTERS
Art therapy uses the creative process as a means of expression to help patients heal. Research suggests art can allow patients to distance themselves from problems and help reveal issues they may not be able to put into words. Plus, it can help the therapist communicate with the patient and find solutions to the problems at hand.
Typically, it’s up to the patient to determine which kind of art to use. Mediums like mosaics, collages, drawing, and even clay can help illustrate specific problems. But don’t be fooled: any old finger painting sesh won’t necessarily cure every issue. The key to art therapy is when the patient describes the art to a therapist in the way of his or her choice, helping the therapist understand symbols and metaphors that reveal the patient’s underlying feelings and issues. Since the focus is on problem solving rather than artistic talent the environment is more relaxed, allowing the patient to express themselves in a low-stress manner.
Art in Motion — The Answer/Debate
The usefulness of art therapy is just as subjective as the art itself. It’s been used to help HIV/AIDS and cancer patients cope with disease