The Benefits of Art-Therapy

In recent years, art- therapy has become an increasingly popular option for mental –health practitioners and those who receive therapy. Like other creative therapies, it has the ability to help patients recover from traumas and heal psychological damage and pain.

The success of the technique can be illustrated by treatment applied to people who have been affected by recent military conflicts in Kashmir- the long, historically contested region between India and Pakistan. In the region, youths have been expressing their anger and pain by painting, a technique that has also been used with similarly positive results within, Angel Faces– a retreat for girls whose lives have been affected by disasters such as fires and other traumatic-events that can result in bodily-disfigurement.

Art-therapy can be used to treat children and adults suffering from a range of mental and physical traumas and challenges- by reducing stress that can speed up the recovery process and provide a forum for expression that is non-verbal. This non-verbal approach is also helpful for people who face challenges imposed by special needs and developmental disabilities such as autism.

The practice of art-therapy has also spread to hospitals and new studies have revealed that its use can make a significant difference to patient-recovery by reducing tension, anxiety and proneness for depression. Recently, the British microbiologist, Rosalia Staricoff reviewed over 400 patient’s case-studies and found that in addition to reducing mental health ailments such as depression, art-therapy also helped to reduce and regulate blood pressure, the ability of patients to manage pain, leading to a reduction in medication-needs.

Art therapy can include many different activities such as music- listening and performing, poetry, story-writing, acting, dancing, photography, painting, drawing, song-writing, pottery, sculpting and even film-making and graphic- design. Each patient may respond to an artistic discipline in a different way, but there are no shortages of approaches available.

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