Throw a Beat Into our Community: Art Therapy



Sydney Douglas, Junior Editor

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Art therapy is an underrated therapy that helps with stress, anxiety, confidence, social skills, and even with depression. Art therapy seems straightforward on what you do, but what really is art therapy and how does it help with people’s mental health?  The answer to that question is in the paragraphs below.


What Is Art Therapy?

Before I did research over art therapy, I knew nothing about it, only that it existed.  Many people think that art therapy is just drawing a picture, but it’s much more. It’s a way for people to escape their thoughts and “lives”, and let their creativity flow by painting, drawing, coloring, or modeling clay.  Art Therapy isn’t just for adults.  Anyone at any age can do it.  Art therapy might not be the first resource to help with mental happiness, because people might be afraid to do art if they aren’t that experienced.  Art therapy doesn’t require any talent at all, it may seem weird or “forced” to do art a couple times a week, because most people aren’t used to communicating through art.  In the end, “The creative process can be one of the most rewarding aspects” says Art Therapy.  Art therapy is different than some other types of therapies, because you don’t have to have serious issues to do it, it can simply be used to reduce stress and anxiety.


How Does Art Therapy Work?

Art therapy is meant to improve the patient’s cognitive and sensorimotor functions.  The human sensorimotor system is associated with movement controls.  The human cognitive system is the process in which the mind develops knowledge, memory, attention, and reasoning.    I don’t know about you, but when I don’t understand or remember something, I get frustrated.  Getting upset a lot of the time can affect your mood, and how you feel as a person.  Art therapy builds the sensorimotor and cognitive system which leads to feeling less stressed, more confidence, and just feel better.  According to Art Therapy, “The creative process involved in expressing one’s self artistically can help people to resolve issues”.  “Anyone who has ever put pen to paper, crayon to coloring book, or hand to wet clay knows the healing powers embedded in such creative endeavors. More than just a pastime, art can be an escape, a stimulus, a war cry or a tranquil reprieve states” HuffPost.


What can I Do?

Anyone at any age, creative or not creative, can do art a couple times of week, and get something positive out of it.  According to Art Therapy, “Now obviously, there are going to be strong advantages to seeing an art therapist as opposed to someone who is using art therapy alone”.  There are different types of art therapy, such as performing arts, and expressive art.  Performing art therapy would consist more of theater, music, and dance.  Expressive arts consists of painting, drawing, sculpting, and photography.  Check out your local art center, local colleges (not all colleges have art therapy classes), there are also some classes online that you could take.

Art therapy is a top resource to improve a person’s mental health with serious, or non-serious issues.  For more information about art therapy check out, American Art Therapy Association, PMC.  For Emporia citizens, the Emporia Arts Center and Emporia State University have art classes that you can take.