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Art therapy: psychological therapy through art

Art therapy: psychological therapy through art

July 18, 2024

It may surprise you to know that art is a very effective therapeutic tool for the treatment of pathologies associated with mental health and well-being. It is a new discipline that aims to promote certain healthy habits, both psychologically and socially, through artistic expression. But, How does art therapy work?

This type of therapy is used as a means of expression, and can help patients communicate, reduce stress and overcome emotional problems.

Art therapy: what is it?

Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of art to improve the physical and psychological well-being of the patient.


The expression of one's emotions through art can help solve problems of the past and can help improve self-awareness, self-esteem, emotional control, reduce stress and anxiety, improve the state of consciousness, attention or creativity.

In order for someone to benefit from the positive aspects of art therapy, it is not necessary for them to be a talented artist, since the objective of this type of therapy is the improvement of well-being and quality of life.

Who benefits from it?

Art therapy works with patients suffering from mental disorders, for the rehabilitation of prisoners, to educate young people, to improve the well-being of healthy people, etc.


It is used with individuals with Post Traumatic Stress resulting from war conflicts, sexual abuse or natural disasters; with individuals suffering from physical illnesses such as cancer; with individuals suffering from autism, dementia or Alzheimer's, depression and other psychological disorders.

With art therapy, patients resolve psychological conflicts, improve social and communication skills and control problematic behaviors while enjoying pleasant and non-invasive therapy.

Origin of this type of therapy

While human beings have used art to express and communicate for centuries, art therapy only began to be formalized from the 20s of the last century .

At that time, health professionals realized that patients suffering from mental disorders used to express themselves through painting or other artistic forms, which led them to explore the uses of art as a therapeutic strategy.


How does an art therapist work?

Art therapists who have a postgraduate degree specialized in Art Therapy. This profession falls within the care professions. In this way, art therapy combines two areas, psychology and Arts . Psychology provides knowledge of the human mind and behavior, its processes and development.

Knowledge about art is important because the art therapist uses different means and techniques to work with his patients (painting, drawing, dramatic art, photography, sculpture, etc.).

The benefits of art therapy

After reviewing the most important aspects of art therapy, next we will summarize in a general way the benefits that art therapy brings :

  • It allows the person to express their feelings, thoughts and emotions, so it acts as a way of liberation.
  • It is an effective way to help those people who have difficulties expressing themselves and communicating.
  • Promotes emotional self-knowledge and regulation of behavior.
  • It is useful in areas such as rehabilitation, education and mental health.
  • It helps to improve the quality of life.
  • It is very effective with people who suffer sensory, physical, motor or social adaptation problems.
  • It is useful to use with people with Down Syndrome, Alzheimer's and Autism.
  • It works with children and adolescents who suffer from learning problems.
  • It can be used for the treatment of phobias.
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • It helps improve the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • It is very effective in eating disorders and body image.
  • It is used effectively to treat addictions.
  • It reinforces self-esteem and helps patients suffering from depression.
  • Its effectiveness in helping patients with terminal illnesses has been demonstrated.

In general, art therapy allows to make sense a highly stimulating task that, in addition, is very creative . At the same time, it offers a way of expressing feelings and points of view that, otherwise, would be reserved for the person, sometimes generating frustration.


Art Therapy : Art Therapy for Depression and Bipolar (July 2024).


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