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What is creative arts therapy?

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Creative arts therapy allows an individual to express thoughts and feelings

Creative arts therapy allows an individual to express thoughts and feelings

Most people are aware of what “therapy” is.

There is physical therapy for those who have been physically injured or somehow impaired and are trying to recover. There is mental health therapy for those who have emotional or psychiatric problems.

Occupational therapy is for those who need to relearn skills such as how to button a shirt or tie a shoe. There is marital therapy and counseling for couples that are struggling. And, there is creative arts therapy, which is a type of therapy that utilizes art, allowing the individual to express himself creatively and artistically, which can be very therapeutic and beneficial. Creative arts therapy is sometimes referred to as “expressive therapy.”

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Sometimes it is impossible for a person to verbally express what he is feeling and thinking. It is often easier to express emotion through art. A child that is suffering from abuse, for example, but is unable to verbally articulate it may find an outlet and a way to reveal his pain through artwork. Creative arts therapy allows individuals to repair themselves emotionally, recover and become healthy.

When a person engages in creative arts therapy this is a purposeful use of making art as a means to address emotional and psychological needs. When doing artwork, a person expresses himself and it can be a great way to let off steam, learn how to cope better and it heightens one?s sense of self.

For years, patients suffering from mental health problems have undergone creative arts therapy, often coordinated and delivery by arts-oriented non profit health organizations, which helps patients deal with depression, loss, trauma, grief, substance abuse and illness.

The goal of art therapy is the same as other types of therapy: To help a person improve and regain and maintain his health and emotional stability. Creative arts therapy includes painting, drawing, photographer, music, sculpture and dancing.


Art is considered a symbolic way of communicating. The individual communicates conflicts, emotions and problems through his artwork and the artwork gives the therapist great insight into the patient. It allows the therapist to help the person learn to solve problems on his own, resolve conflict, gain more insight into himself all of which enables the person to improve, grow, change and heal.

Creative arts therapists are able to see metaphors and non-verbal symbols in the patients’ artwork which allows them to better understand what the patient is suffering from and enables the therapist to more effectively and successfully treat the individual.

Many believe that there are inherent healing abilities as a result of engaging in a creative process. When creating something, an individual uses his imagination, expresses himself and is authentic which allows him to heal internally and transform into a healthy person.

Think about those times that you have done something creative and how satisfying and rewarding it was when you completed the process, whether it was painting a picture, sewing a dress, decorating your living room or composing a song.

Everyone should encourage their innate creativity because it allows them to be spontaneous and imaginative and to have fun. It improves self confidence.

Children are naturally creative and create with little or no inhibitions. However, with age some people think it?s inappropriate to be creative and whimsical but it?s not. It is very appropriate and beneficial to your health and well being.


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