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Expressive Therapy: How Creating Artwork Can Help You Heal Mental Illness

Expressive therapy is creating art for the sake of expressing oneself rather than focusing on the final result. It has numerous mental health benefits and is widely used in psychotherapy.

People all over the world enjoy creating artwork as it is a very inspiring and relaxing activity. It gives them a chance to create new art pieces and show how things look from their perspective. Thanks to art, they can express how different, normal things look like from their point of view. This is how expressive therapy works.

It is not a surprise that, over time, people started using the process of creating artwork in a therapeutic context. Expressive therapy, or expressive arts therapy, is an ideal solution for those who have troubles expressing themselves through the use of words.

Expressing Yourself through Art

Some people simply don’t feel comfortable talking to strangers and discussing their opinions, thoughts, and dreams. Keep in mind that something like this is more common than you may think. If you are one of these individuals, you shouldn’t feel ashamed. Not all of us feel comfortable opening up to someone we don’t know and discussing things that have a significant impact on our lives.

You don’t have to worry if you have no idea how to express yourself verbally, or simply don’t like this way of communicating. Expressive therapy is a perfect way of non-verbal interaction. This type of therapy is an excellent option for those who need help expressing their worries and fears in a non-verbal manner.

Thanks to it, you can interact with people around you without even saying a word. Many people struggling with anxiety, depression, dementia, addiction, trauma, attention disorders, and other problems find it very effective and helpful.

The purpose of expressive therapy sessions is to teach people how to express themselves without using words. Some of the activities used during these sessions include drawing, painting, sculpting, taking photographs, and collaging, and each of them is beneficial to our mental health.

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The primary purpose of creating artwork is to help those who don’t feel comfortable discussing their problems and fears verbally. However, it also provides numerous mental health benefits that have a positive impact on our lives.

The best thing about it is that you don’t have to be a talented artist to enjoy the advantages that it offers. No matter your skills, or the lack of, attending expressive arts therapy sessions will improve your life.

Creating Artwork Can Provide Relief from Stress

Most of us deal with high levels of stress on a daily basis. It is not a surprise as many people all over the world have very stressful jobs. Also, some of us are better at handling pressure than others.

If you are one of those individuals who find it difficult to deal with work-related tension, it may be an excellent idea to try some activities that can relieve you of pressure. Being under a lot of stress regularly is not good for you. In fact, it can have a negative influence on your well-being.

Luckily, art therapy is a perfect solution for stress reduction. When we engage in artistic activities, we tend to feel calm and relaxed. It doesn’t matter what type of the activity we choose. But we can sense the pressure leaving our bodies when we work on our artwork.

It is not a rocket science, it is very simple. When we concentrate on our artistic piece and its creation, there is no room for thinking about worries, fears, and obligations. All that’s important at that moment is a blank canvas in front of us waiting for us to draw the line and turn our ideas into a masterpiece. It provides a perfect mental escape for our mind, allowing it to relax for a while.

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Expressive Therapy Can Improve Your Self-Esteem

You should be aware that engaging in expressive arts therapy sessions can have a positive influence on your self-esteem. If we decide to create artwork and succeed in this goal, we are proud of ourselves and have a sense of accomplishment.

No matter the type of activity that you choose, if you practice your artistic skills for a prolonged period, they will improve, and so will the results of your efforts. Once you get really good at painting, sculpting, or drawing, you will be satisfied with your ability to express your opinions and views in a non-verbal manner. As a result, your self-esteem will improve significantly.

Expressive Therapy Encourages Creativity

It is crucial to be aware that this type of therapy encourages creative thinking. Expressive therapy teaches us how to think outside of the box. There is no correct answer or the right solution when it comes to creating artwork, and you can’t go wrong.

During the sessions, people use different parts of their brains compared to standard ways of thinking. At the same time, different brain chemicals are produced. As a result, they have a chance to improve their problem-solving skills. They also learn how to tackle numerous problems with confidence and using an innovative approach.

Thanks to the process of creating artwork, our brains exercise creativity. Thus, they can later apply it to different issues that we encounter in life and find unique solutions that would’ve never even crossed our mind.

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