Art therapy is an important and popular treatment technique for a variety of health conditions and mental health problems. There are different forms of art therapy that can be used today. The type of expressive therapy chosen should be focused on the well-being of the patient taking part in the art therapy process, and the outcome. Here are five popular types of art psychology used today.
This is one of the most limitless art therapy techniques. Painting gives the patient a great deal of freedom as they are able to paint whatever they wish. It mainly involves creating images using a blank canvas or using tools to assist the patient in manipulating and constructing images. In art therapy, painting involves spray painting, watercolors, acrylic paints, and many more.
Use of textiles in expressive therapy involves puppets and stuffed toys. This form of creative therapy is important for children and adults who have physical difficulties using art supplies that need fine motor skills. Textiles tend to add a sensory level of texture and softness that can help in providing a level of safety and comfort for the patient. This can be crucial in building trust between the therapist and the patient. Textiles help patients to express themselves without the need to use pen and paper.
Photography is one of the types of art therapy used to integrate past images, memories, and digital manipulation of photographs. Patients can use photographs from their lives to assist in stimulating memories, and use digital technology to come up with a more positive framework. Patients can also use smartphones to take pictures of different things, for example, people who love them, or images that they find pleasing and beautiful.
Collage involves cutting and sticking together pictures that express the patient’s emotions, or that inspire them. It is a more passive approach when compared to painting and drawing, because it involves manipulation of already designed and constructed items like word titles and magazine images. This is an ideal task for patients who have difficulties making decisions or starting tasks. Collage gives patients a great sense of freedom and it also enables them to explore their creative side without the need to draw or paint.
Drawing technique involves a patient using an item for easy mark marking. Supplies used in drawing include charcoal, pastels, pens, pencils, crayons, and paper-based substrates. Most clients are conversant with drawing supplies and they can use them with very little frustration or instruction. This form of therapy does not require any drawing skills as it is not intended for producing an artwork, but for helping the patient to explore their emotional aspects through creative art.
The different types of expressive therapy can have significant effects on the emotional, physical, and mental well-being of the patient. Most clients will prefer a specific type of art therapy because of prior exposure or experience. Furthermore, some may avoid some types of creative therapy techniques that they have never been exposed to. A good therapist will help the patient to pick a therapy technique that focuses on the well-being of the client and the foreseen outcome.