Art therapy strengthens positive feelings, alleviates distress, and helps individuals to clarify existential questions (Gabriel, Bromberg, Vandenbovenkamp, Kornblith, & Luzzato, 2001).
“Some call it Medical Art Therapy, but there is a much broader and more comprehensive field emerging for art therapy and expressive therapies– integrative medicine. This emerging paradigm underscores how we find wellness not only through traditional medical intervention, but also through non-traditional and often ancient forms of prevention and treatment. Art therapy is one practice that challenges us to redefine what healing actually means.” - See more at: http://www.cathymalchiodi.com/about/expressive-arts-and-integrative-medicine-teaching-and-projects/#sthash.cCiiVwsl.dpuf
The psychological effects of creative expression, such as that expressed with art therapy, include
a) positive mood, b) a sense of confidence and self-efficacy,
c) enhanced ability to self-express, d) promoted self-awareness
and self-acceptance, e) improved insight, f) lessened anxiety, g) enhanced general psychological well-being, h) more complex cognition that helps with greater problem-solving ability by diverse ways of interpretation of material, and i) an enhanced ability to shape oneself and one’s world actively, which are contrary to feelings of helplessness and depression (Craw-ford & Patterson, 2007; Field & Kruger, 2008; Wood, 2007).
Jordan Coiner and Kyung Hee Kim
The College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virgina, USA
Although influenced by psychoanalysis, Art Therapists have been inspired by theories such as attachment-based psychotherapy and have developed a broad range of client-centred approaches. Scientific evidence is now available that supports this way of working. Exploring the links between neuro-science and art therapy is something I continue to enjoy.