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Art Therapy: More than crafts

posted Aug 26, 2013, 7:00 AM by Megan Black   [ updated Aug 26, 2013, 7:01 AM by Tascheleia Marangoni ]
              In today’s society severe postpartum depression is traditionally treated with medication or cognitive behavioural therapy. However, sometimes these traditional therapies are not always fitting. More recently, complementary therapies have been used to help treat depression and have been proven to be effective. In particular, arts therapy has demonstrated positive effects on patients with mental health concerns.

Art therapy allows an individual to enjoy a therapeutic experience by participating in some form of creative activity. For many, the act of creating art is intrinsically healing in itself. When an individual participates in journaling, painting, sculpting or drawing a release of emotions occurs and evokes a calm focus. The actual process of creating art offers a period of time simply for thought and self-awareness. Sometimes it is difficult to express emotions using words, art allows one to express emotions more directly.  For example, an art therapy patient from the British Association of Art Therapists expressed, “sessions have helped me express things inside me which would otherwise have been suppressed. They have helped me gain insights into myself, my life situation and have highlighted issues that I didn't know were inside me. Sometimes, when just using words, my real feelings are avoided, drawing & colour helps me to get in touch with what is going on at a deeper level.” Mental health care professionals suggest “creative arts can be used to complement conventional therapy and that complementary therapies maybe a valuable adjunct to conventional interventions for women with postpartum depression and anxiety.”

            Try art therapy and see how it can benefit you!

References:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18243941

http://fountainhillcenter.org/articles/mental-health/what-is-art-therapy/

http://www.arttherapyspot.com/2011/02/spotlight-depression.html

http://www.baat.org/clientscomments.html

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