Art Therapy: Definition And Types Of Art

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When you hear the word Art Therapy, what is the first thing that comes into your mind? To me, when I heard the word Art Therapy I thought about the fine arts. I thought about artists around the world creating something they truly love to do. Also the word therapy, I thought about treatment intended to relieve or heal a disorder. During my research I found out what art therapy means, the benefit for it and what types of art therapy there is. Art can be used in so many different ways; you can make art by painting, drawing, use your own computer or phone, photography and etc. People around world use art to express their emotion whenever their feeling stress, anxiety or they just do art for fun. Art is the expression of human creative skill and imagination. Also during my research I found out when and where art therapy had started and why. When I was doing my research I’ve learned that art was not only something that people do for fun but it also help out others with their mental problems. For me, I’ve loved doing photography because it not only set my mind into a relaxing state but it bring back memories to the time where I enjoyed being around my great grandfather.

Art Therapy is known as an expression therapy. It is use for communication, express and explores the artists’ thoughts and emotions. Art Therapy originated in the fields of art and psychotherapy and may vary in definition. The goal in Art Therapy is to improve and restore the client’s functioning and his or her sense of personal well-being. For some people art therapy is the method for them to draw or paint their emotions, create a stress painting, create and emotion wheel and etc. Nowadays art therapy is use in hospitals, psychiatric, and rehabilitation facilities, wellness centres, school, senior communities, and other clinical and community settings. For art therapists working on an individual or a group it is their job to help their clients’ inherent capacity for art making to further improve the quality of their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

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During the mid-20th century in Europe art therapy started from there. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Art Therapy and Art Education became more present due to the desire to increase quality of life. In the 1920s, Hermann Simon introduced art therapy into facilities the needed a positive. Simon stated that his goal was to bring patients into renewed contact with the world. The word ‘Art Therapy’ was created by a British artist name Adrian Hill, he created the term as a description for his work with tuberculosis patients in the sanitarium. In 1943, John Levy was one of the first to use art in child psychotherapy. It said that for thousands of year, many people from different cultures and different religion around the world have valued the use of carved idols and charms, as well as sacred painting and symbols, in the healing process.

Art Therapy benefit to all ages, also art can help anyone that feels overwhelmed or pressured by the hectic world we live in. Making art will give you some time to slow down and explore any issues that you may be having. For those that have mental health problems, art therapist help improve our anxiety, attention disorder, grief and loss, dementia, depression, eat disorders, physical illness, relationship issue and more. How art does helps us with our problem, you may ask? Well from my research art give us the relaxing mind state where we feel like we’re in a whole different place. Art Therapy brings out our emotions without too much verbal communication. I would say by understanding and honouring our natural need in the art, we would see less suffering, unhappiness, violence, and pain in the world.

There are much type of ways you can use art therapy which are painting, collaging, digital art, photography and etc. First for painting, it is the most limitless. When it comes to painting it gives you that type of freedom to paint whatever you want to paint. Some therapist can assign you an exercises and prompts on what you can base your drawing on. Painting involves with shapes, lines, colours, tone and textures, these elements of this language are used in many ways to produce sensation of volume, space, movements, and lights on a flat surface. Second is collaging, it is when you cut and stick pictures that inspire you or express your emotions and put them together. This method also gives you the freedom to do whatever you want and can help you explore your creative side without painting or drawing. Collaging is similar to making a vision board, where you can make a collage of your dream life and goals.

Third is digital art, it is where you use computer. Today many people use computer or phone to create art. Reason being is because there are some many type of art software that can help kids can use, like affinity designer, Art Rage, Krita and etc. Last is photography, which is my most favourite. Photography is for people that maybe are not highly developed on drawing or painting. Some people around the world uses professional camera like canon, Nikon and sonny or something they use their own smartphones like iPhone, Samsung or Motorola. For photography you could take picture of the thing that you are most grateful for like you family, nature, your food or even a picture of yourself. I love photography because i love to capture the moments that comes my way and just look back, photography is where I find my passion in art.

When doing my research about art therapy, I’ve learned that art was not only creating something for fun. For me, I express my emotions and feeling is through photography. Drawing and painting are not my skill in the arts but I try to learn it because it nice trying new things. Photography plays an important role to me because I get to capture the moments that surrounds me. Not only that but I get to keep the pictures that I take and just look back at it, and if I don’t like the editing or the way it look then I would better myself with my work. Art for some people is a treatment for them to release stress, anxiety, express their feeling, explore emotions, improve social skill and raise self-esteem.                   

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