Written by Khushii Chowdhary – a grade 12 student.
‘Art is my cure to all this madness, sadness and loss of belonging in the world & through it I’ll walk myself home.’
What do mean by Art Therapy?
A form of psychotherapy involving the encouragement of free self-expression through painting, drawing, or modelling, used as a remedial or diagnostic activity. Art therapy helps children, adolescents, and adults explore their emotions, improve self-esteem, manage addictions, relieve stress, improve symptoms of anxiety and depression, and cope with a physical illness or disability.
There is no specific age to participate in art therapy and not skill is required. For art therapy, the basic requirement is to be creative and there is nothing factually wrong in saying that everyone is creative in their own unique way.
How does Art Therapy work?
Art therapy is founded on the belief that self-expression through artistic creation has therapeutic value for those who are healing or seeking deeper understanding of themselves and their personalities.
According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapists are trained to understand the roles that colour, texture, and various art media can play in the therapeutic process and how these tools can help reveal one’s thoughts, feelings, and psychological disposition. Art therapy integrates psychotherapy and some form of visual arts as a specific, stand-alone form of therapy, but it is also used in combination with other types of therapy.
Art Therapy is not restricted to just visual arts, it includes dance, music, theatre and other forms or art.
Art therapy has proved to be the most effective and non-invasive therapy to overcome cognitive disorders of psychological traumas easily and quickly. One dos not have to be a child to be able to enrol in art therapy, many senior citizens have also participated in it and improved by unbelievable statistics and shown the results after their first session itself.
What is the psychological impact of COVID 19 and how has art therapy helped their stress to decrease?
COVID 119 has been declared to be a pandemic and has had major affects on every aspect of the world, be it economical, social of psychological on the people. The people are going through a phase of complete uncertainty of the future, fear of the unknown. This is leading to an increase in the curve of psychological problems such as stress, anxiety, frustration and anger. In some areas of the world, there stress eating disorders have been majorly reported leading to an increase in obesity and worsened physiological health
Since proper therapy/help is not available due to social distancing, online sessions have been started but the one kind of therapy which has helped the most and shown the best results is ART THERAPY.
Therapy, in everyday words refers to expressing your feelings, venting it out for which one goes to a therapists/psychologist or counselling psychologists, Art therapy is also expressing what you have in mind, expressing what you want to say but cannot do so, expressing your inner feelings but the difference is that you do it all on paper and there is no specific requirement of someone being with you , of a skill or even any specific material for that matter.
According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy has been described as one of the most effective ways to cope up with stress and anxiety during this pandemic.
Anybody can be a part of art therapy, art in such terms does not mean that one has to be perfect, it just means to express yourself on paper. Many people, from young children to aged people have proved it to be therapeutic. They have kept journals/scrapbooks and have been expressing themselves regularly but just drawing anything starting from a shape to a landscape to a portrait. they listen to music on a loud volume, dance it out which diverts their mind from the daily stress and anxiety due to the current situation which henceforth enables them to live through the lockdown with a smile their faces from one ear reaching to the other. Art is colourful, which represents the various emotions from fear to joy and cheer.
For instance, black represents darkness and fear, yellow represents cheer and happiness, white stands for peace, red stands for love as well has stress, purple stands for anxiety but yet is the colour of joy. Every colour has some emotion has some emotion attached to it and art therapy brings it out in every positive way possible. Art therapy is distresses oneself. One can do anything, from designing postcards to doing digital artwork to dancing to singing, WITHOUT any restriction.
To conclude I would like to quote Pablo Picasso,
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”And soon this pandemic will also wash away!
Written by Khushii Chowdhary