The Art of Art Therapy
Ahh, the magical world of art– painting, drawing, music, coloring, the list goes on and on. The most magical part about art, though, is that it is good for the mind, body, and spirit.
In middle school, I remember being most excited for art. I was, by no means, a “good” artist, but that did not matter. I was in an environment where I felt safe to express myself and take risks, and I think many people can relate to that and why I find art so important.
In fact, the iCan Dream Center believes the same. So much so, that the center incorporated art therapy into the students’ schedules. The students work with an art therapist at least once weekly. It is a chance for students to get creative and expressive in their own way.
So what is an art therapist?
Art therapists, as explained by the AATA, are healthcare professionals who provide health services to many people. An art therapist holds a master’s degree or above in art therapy and/or any related health field.
How it works
As mentioned earlier, art therapy engages the mind, body, and spirit. Reaching these levels of engagement, that verbal articulation alone might not reach, allows students to engage in visual and symbolic expression. This form of communication can boost self-esteem and provides a certain level of freedom that is good for the soul.
The AATA also mentions how art therapy enhances social skills, improves cognitive and sensorimotor functions, and cultivates emotional resilience.
Each week, I ask the students about art therapy because I know how much it means to them. Art is used as a channel for a different means of communication and opens doors to many new opportunities. And that is the art of art therapy.