Remember how lost in time you’d get whenever you sat down with a box of crayons and a coloring book? How you’d get so lost in the use of colors and their placement, heavy strokes, light strokes, and the desire to finish the entire page.
If you were like most kids, you even signed your name on the paper like other artists. I dare not compare coloring with the techniques of fine art but I must say that the love of painting a scene, sculpting a form, or sketching a picture probably started with a fresh box of Crayola and a new book of pictures to color.
Just thinking of it is euphoric.
Coloring provided a way for our imaginations to escape through our expression and likewise, in fine art, with each stroke the end result hasn’t changed.
Art therapy is defined as, “a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages.”
Art can be used as the therapy itself or it can be used within therapy. The goal is to use the art-making process as the vehicle in which those who are mentally and emotionally challenged can arrive at a place of harmony within their own time on their own terms.
Most patients surpass the sensations they feel when creating their form of art and may even experience healing from diagnoses of traumatic injuries, depression, eating disorders, disorders caused by sexual abuse, and even chronic illness.
In each session, the patients have a moment to dive into focusing on themselves particularly their feelings, thoughts, and imagination. Then they are encouraged to take those feelings, thoughts, and images and use the specific art-form to express what’s on the inside. After they become comfortable with the tools of the trade that they were initially given, they’ll start to learn other skills and techniques to help them along even further. Depending on what state you’re located, a license is needed to become an Art Therapist. You’ll also need to have taken a variety of art disciplines in order to be classified as proficient.
While I am in no way suggesting you to vacate your pursuit of happiness in the art industry, I am pointing out the fact that art has taken on a new turn that’s catching on in the medical field and it’s working! Imagine what could happen if we volunteered to help the elderly, help children after school, or even decided to show our skills to those who are looking for a tutor. It’s not just about art but it’s about having a purpose and if the act of expressing oneself in an artform stimulates mental and emotional wholeness, then I’m for it!
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