HEALING & ART THERAPY
HEALING WITH THE ARTS
The use of artistic methods and techniques to treat emotional disturbance, psychological disorders, enhance mental health and maintain spiritual wellbeing is an age-old and commonly known therapeutic methodology. Artistic practices of various kinds and origin, indigenous/traditional and modern, have been used as therapeutic techniques and the practice is rooted in the idea that the act of creating and the ability to creatively express can foster understanding, healing and mental well-being. But little do people realise that the experience of art and aesthetics, and gaining an ability to see, understand and appreciate pure beauty too can enhance well-being and imbibe mindfulness.
An understanding of the subtleties of artistic expression and the process of learning the language of art, used in both making or understanding by appreciation, can help imbibe mindfulness and heighten awareness. The physical and sensory encounters of an individual with the tangible and intangible aspects of artistic creation, the tactile experience of artistic material and the exploration of expression based on the language of art can create a subliminal understanding of self that is incomparable to any other known experience.
As an expressive medium, art can be used to help clients communicate, overcome stress, and explore different aspects of their own personalities. And as a spiritual experience it can enhance your abilities to see and feel beyond the surface, to feel the core of existence and connect with the universe.
‘Creativity’ with ‘Imagination’ form Art here and either, the process of creating it or experiencing it through others' artworks, or together, is used to help people explore their emotions, develop self-awareness, cope with stress, boost self-esteem, and work on social skills.
What Is It?
Art therapy integrates psychotherapeutic techniques with the creative process to improve mental health and well-being. Besides leading the individual to find their connect with the universe, it has the ability to heighten the experience of creating and connectivity to their surroundings. It helps participants recognise the inherent beauty and rhythm surrounding them, the voice of the universe, and find their place within this organization of things. It helps understand self, the cosmic design and feel the harmony of existence, enhancing awareness and finding pleasure in existence, in the here and now.
Art therapy as an approach to mental health utilizes the process of creating art to improve mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. The goal of art therapy is, one, to utilize the creative process to help explore self-expression, two, to find new ways of gaining personal insight and develop new coping skills, and three, to open one’s eyes, to see and understand the inherent beauty of the natural and man-made world.
People do not need to have pre-requisite artistic abilities or ‘talent’ to participate in art therapy. It is available and appropriately tailored for all age groups including children, teens and adults; all can benefit from it, artistically and emotionally. Some research suggests that just the presence of art can play a part in boosting mental health, hence for those hesitant ones, we also offer experiencing the art of appreciation and aesthetics through nature, finding beauty and harmony.
Art therapy can be used to treat a wide range of mental disorders, psychological distress and emotional disturbance.
Some situations in which art therapy might be utilized include:
- Children with learning disabilities
- Adults experiencing severe stress
- Children suffering from behavioral or social problems at school or at home
- People experiencing mental health problems
- Children or adults who have experienced a traumatic event or injury
Some conditions that art therapy may be used to treat include:
- Medical conditions
- Aging-related issues
- Emotional difficulties
- Eating disorders
- Substance abuse
- Family or relationship problems
- Psychosocial issues
- Psychological symptoms associated with other medical issues
How It Works
An art therapist uses a variety of techniques, methods and artistic mediums for therapeutic purposes. They use creative techniques and exploratory methods to experience the self through artistic mediums to initiate and encourage participation in understanding and articulating latent beliefs. At Neeva we combine these methods with meditative and indigenous techniques used for exploration for spiritual wellbeing.
Techniques used in art therapy can vary from person to person and group to group. It can include drawing, painting, colouring, sculpting, collage, print-making, applique and many more techniques based on the participant’s interest. As clients create and review their own work as well as others’ they are mentored through the process of analysing their creative experience and map the process towards a journey to transformation. Through exploration of present and past personal experiences, and others, and representing these through an artistic medium participants find their voice and themes - like, prejudices, conflicts and problems - that may be affecting their thoughts, emotions, and behavior. The inherent beauty in others representation of ideas and themes understood through appreciation of aesthetic values can also lead to a better understanding of self.
As each client is different and so are their problems, techniques used may vary from client to client and across age groups. Personalised consultations are hence necessary and recommended to start with. Group consultations are also organised upon request and range from young children to the elderly. Currently we are using the visual mediums of arts and crafts, including drawing, painting, sculpture, collage making techniques along with indigenous/traditional techniques of spiritual wellbeing and mindfulness.
People often wonder how an art therapy session differs from the average art classes. Where an art class is focused on teaching technique, handling of artistic material or creating a specific finished product, art therapy is more concerned with the inner experience with the artistic experience, it deals with letting clients focus on their emotional being, their experiences and their representation, rather than artistic excellence.
In creating art, people are able to focus on their own perceptions, imagination, and feelings. Clients are encouraged to create art that expresses their inner world more than making something that is an expression of the outer world.
Clients seeking assistance in dealing with any form of trauma or trying to overcome trauma experienced due to emotional abuse, physical violence, domestic abuse, anxiety, depression, and other psychological issues can benefit from the use of art therapy. As can participants who wish to unwind, find harmony or those looking for their identity. Finding ways of expressing themselves creatively or experiencing art and beauty in others work can work wonders.
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