Art Therapy is a type of psychotherapy and psychological treatment, based on the art and creativity. In a narrow sense, an art therapy usually means fine art therapy to influence the client’s emotional state.
The term “art therapy” was coined by the artist Adrian Hill (1938) to describe his work with TB patients in sanatoriums. Art therapy emerged in the 30 years of the twentieth century. First art therapy techniques have been applied in the U.S. in working with children who were exported from Nazi camps during World War II. At the beginning of the development of art therapy reflect the views of psychoanalytic Z. Freud and CG Jung, in which the end product of artistic activity of a patient (be it drawing, sculpture, installation) expresses his unconscious mental processes. In 1960, American Art Therapy Association was founded.
The main purpose of art therapy is to harmonize the development of the individual through the development of the ability of self-expression and self-discovery. From the point of view of psychoanalysis, the basic mechanism of art therapy is sublimation. The value of the use of art in therapy is that it can be used on a symbolic level to express and explore the wide range of emotions: love, hate, resentment, anger, fear, joy, and so on. Methodology of art therapy is based on the belief that the internal “I” of man is reflected in the visual images whenever he draws, paints a picture or sculpting sculpture.
The indications for art therapy are difficulties in emotional development, stress, depression, depressed mood, emotional instability, impulsivity, emotional responses, emotional experience of rejection by others, a sense of loneliness, interpersonal conflicts, dissatisfaction with family relationships, jealousy, increased anxiety, fears, phobias, negative “self-concept” and low self-esteem.
Expressing the accumulated experiences through creativity (drawings, crafts, story), the patient can immediately feel relief. This is the first step in an art therapy session: the expression of one’s emotions in the process of creating an artistic image.
Through the second step, the patient changes the situation directly in the picture he has just drawn in such a way that it has become acceptable to him. Changing the drawing, he also changes his way of thinking, trying to see the traumatic situation from different angles, find options out of it. It is important that the client himself drew his problem and found a solution to how to best change the picture.
Among others forms of art therapy there Biblio Therapy, Music Therapy, Dance Therapy, Puppet Therapy.
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