What is art therapy?
Simply put, it is creative play; the act of using art mediums for the sole purpose of healing and reducing stress, depression, anxiety and other mental health struggles under the supervision of a qualified therapist.
WHY IS IT
Creative play and art therapy does something magical to the brain. Well, it's actually scientific, but it's so impactful for some people that it feels like magic, and doesn't that sound wonderful?
Your inner creative knows something your conscious self does not. Coloring allows you to tap into your intuition with low stakes.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ART THERAPY, ART THERAPEUTICS AND CREATIVE PLAY?
Create opportunities for self exploration for a deeper sense of self awareness and understanding
Improve concentration, hand eye coordination, and problem solving
Offer space to communicate thoughts, feelings and moods without words
Provide relief for stress, anxiety, and depression
Increase one's ability to process difficult emotions
The prefrontal cortex of a human brain is responsible for coordinating thousands of decisions on any given day.
When engaging in
a creative activity like
say adult coloring for
example, it allows this part
of the brain to work on simple problems, while the amygdala (fear centre of the brain) relaxes, reducing restless thoughts, pain signals, and overall anxiety.
COLORING IS ESPECIALLY THERAPEUTIC, AS IT REQUIRES BOTH HEMISPHERES OF THE BRAIN TO COMMUNICATE... EVEN WHEN THEY'D RATHER NOT.
Coloring allows you to focus on filling in an image - not generating one from scratch - which is a different art skill that can take years of practice, some heartache and plenty of frustration with a healthy dose of imposter syndrome. Coloring? Anyone can start at any time in their lives, and there is absolutely no pressure or judgement. It's for you. It's a safe haven where you can relax and flow. This activity is amazing for both neurotypical and neurodivergent brains.
Since you aren't creating the image itself, your mind doesn't have to worry about proportions, line weight, shapes, numbers or forms.
It's just you, an image on paper and the pigment in your hands. Crayons, markers, gel pens, highlighters, even eyeshadow can serve.
Choose a color and go with the flow. Where will it take you? As each section gets filled in, your worries could very well melt away with the hues
Some images take longer than others, and each tells a story, each holds a memory. The colors you choose that day might even capture the emotions you felt.