Recently, be it adults, children or teens, therapy has become a common part of a healthy lifestyle for many. This acceptance towards therapy has pushed to popularity a specific form of therapy called ‘Art Therapy’.
With more than 200 different techniques, art therapy has proven to be quite helpful for many.
“With significant research, I often implement a lot of art therapy techniques with my clients. It helps in taking care of anxiety and lot of other psychological issues,” says Dr Divya Kumawat, counselling psychologist and art therapist.
She talks about a specific technique called ‘Random Doodling’, used to calm down patients. “I ask my clients to do this when they are extremely overwhelmed. Techniques like these are applied in different settings, with different people keeping in mind their problems,” she adds. With this form of therapy becoming popular, it has also led to many misconceptions surrounding it.
“People are really getting excited about this therapy and the popularity is also increasing. But there are lots of confusions with this technique and people are not really aware of the right way of doing it,” she says.
To avoid such misconceptions and confusion, one must know what exactly art therapy is.
Most of us think that a bit of sketching or doodling or painting is art therapy. But, that is not the case.
“Anybody who is doing some mandala or some artwork think that they are art therapists, which is not the case. When we talk about art therapy, we talk about art as therapy where we can see it in two ways, one is the process where an individual can use it and at the same time it is also a reflection after the art that helps you dive deeper into emotion,” explains Dr Kumawat.
While, that is how it works in a professional setting, many have also found their personal ways of using art as therapy. For many doing some art on their own can be very therapeutic.
“Why call it art therapy? Art is Therapy. Any mind engaging activity, be it art music or dance, which takes you away from the tensions, hassles of your everyday life, is inherently going to be very relaxing,” says Dr Roshan Jain, senior psychiatrist.
He believes art can be a good way of building confidence. “When you start doing something, you start to feel that you are not completely incapable of that thing. The sense of relaxation and satisfaction that gives you will help build your confidence. It also gives you a sense of achievement of completing something. The art piece works like a trophy too, like a medal after running a marathon,” he adds.
This form of therapy can be beneficial for all age groups but it works differently for each age group, say experts.
“Children benefit from it enormously by expressing their emotions, creativity and feelings in an art form. It is a well-established method not just to help focus but also to express themselves which might be quite hard for them to express in words or through writing at times. Whereas among adults, our minds are filled with full of knowledge, information, opinions, and judgements. We need to find a way to deviate ourselves from the opinions and judgments and when we get into the art form then we switch gear into another world where sense of feeling is quite different and satisfying,” says Dr. Jain.