Art Therapy

Who comes to mind when you think of your favorite artist (singer, writer, painter…)? What do great artists have in common? Through a creative outlet they use their talent and distinctive style to meaningfully communicate. Through art they express themselves and many times give a voice to countless others who can relate to their message or perhaps have yet to find their voice. What do you have in common with great artists? You too have the ability to create and communicate through art. You are an artist.

Creating art is beneficial. Art therapy, which utilizes the creative process, can be an especially beneficial form of therapy. Even without the aid of a therapist, using creative arts has many benefits. Art can help you express emotions that are hard to put into words and can help rid you of intense emotional pain. Art can allow you to express extreme emotions of anger and pain in a safe manner rather than keeping them bottled up inside. Art can also reduce painful symptoms of grief and loss. It has been proven that the creation of art actually increases the serotonin levels in your brain, which helps fight depression.

Have you found a positive creative outlet? Do you enjoy singing, writing, photography, doodling, computer design, scrapbooking, restoring classic cars, gardening? There is no limit to the possibilities for artistic expression. It can be a comfort to know that creativity is all around you each and every day…whether it be dancing in your bedroom to your favorite song, cooking a great meal, solving a problem in your personal life, or sculpting clay. Creating art can improve your mood, build self-confidence, and be relaxing. In fact, the repetitive soothing actions of art bring on the physiological “relaxation response” that long-distance runners experience.

So, explore art. You have the ability to create something unique, feel better, and potentially benefit others in the process.

Submitted by Tyleen Nicholas, MA, LPC, NCC, CAAC. Feel free to contact me for more information about art as therapy, arranging an art therapy workshop or for other counseling services. I provide individual and group counseling services in Macomb County, MI. My specializations are crisis counseling and substance abuse counseling. (586) 365-9582

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