Close,Up,Brush,Is,Mixing,Colors,Of,Paints,On,Palette. 10 Jul 2018
Creativity and Recovery: The Mental Health Benefits of Art Therapy
Art – no matter whether you choose to create it yourself or simply observe and enjoy it – is a relaxing and inspiring activity for many people. However, the particular benefits of artistic expression go much further than relaxation and enjoyment. Studies suggest that art therapy can be very valuable in treating issues such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and even some phobias. It is a great way to express your emotions without words, process complex feelings and find relief. In this article, we will take a closer look at art therapy and discuss its mental health benefits.

What Is Art Therapy?

Art therapy can be defined in many ways, but the simplest way to define it is an application of the visual arts in a therapeutic context. You don’t necessarily have to see a therapist in order to experience some of the therapeutic benefits of artistic expression. There are many simple activities you can try from the comfort of your home such as art journaling, sketching, making collages, sculpting with clay, etc. It doesn’t matter what media you choose. The only thing that matters is that you feel comfortable using it.

However, working with a licensed therapist also has its advantages because a professional can tailor each activity to your own needs. If the activities are done in a group, they are excellent for building healthy connections with other people, which may be very helpful if you are fighting depression. The most important thing is that you should try art therapy only if you want it. Expressing yourself through art can be self-revealing and sometimes equally painful as talking. So, if you still don’t feel ready to try it, that is okay.
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Black and white image of museum-goers in front of painting 28 Aug 2017
Art Therapy in Museums
Throughout the course of history, museums have turned from displays of collections to educational and social institutes. In recent years, museums have introduced various activities like interactive tours, theatrical plays, late-night parties, yoga lessons or workshops to stay in touch with the ever-changing society. In this context, museums expand their practices in to more engaging community programs that depict social issues and have an impact.

One of these practices is the art therapy programs. Relatively new to the field of museums, art therapy allows visitors to look for new creative experiences and at the same time it can provide psychological benefits. We caught up with Elisabeth Ioannides from the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST) to talk about the art therapy in museums today.

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