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“Art washes away from the soul the dust of
everyday life.” – Pablo Picasso
Art therapy (also known as arts therapy) is a
creative method of expression used as
a therapeutic technique.
Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that
uses the creative process of making art to
improve a person’s physical, mental, and
Art therapy, sometimes called creative arts
therapy or expressive arts therapy, encourages
people to express and understand emotions
through artistic expression and through the
Although art therapy is a relatively young
therapeutic discipline, its roots lie in the use
of the arts in the 'moral treatment' of
psychiatric patients in the late 18th century,
this moral treatment, Susan Hogan argues,
“arose out of utilitarian philosophy and also
from a non-conformist religious
tradition”, and in a re-evaluation of the art of
non-western art and of the art of untrained
artists and of the insane.
Art therapy as a profession began in the mid-
20th century, arising independently in
English-speaking and European countries.
The early art therapists who published
accounts of their work acknowledged the
influence of aesthetics, psychiatry,
psychoanalysis, rehabilitation, early
childhood education, and art education, to
varying degrees, on their practices.
The British artist Adrian Hill coined the term art
therapy in 1942. Hill, recovering from
tuberculosis in a sanatorium, discovered the
therapeutic benefits of drawing and painting
while convalescing. He wrote that the value of art
therapy lay in "completely engrossing the mind
(as well as the fingers)…releasing the creative
energy of the frequently inhibited patient", which
enabled the patient to "build up a strong defense
against his misfortunes".
He suggested artistic work to his fellow patients.
That began his art therapy work, which was
documented in 1945 in his book, Art Versus
The purpose of art therapy is essentially one
of healing. Art therapy can be successfully
applied to clients with physical, mental or
emotional problems, diseases and disorders.
Any type of visual art and art medium can be
employed within the therapeutic process,
including painting, drawing, sculpting,
photography, and digital art.
Art therapy stands in contrast with other
kinds of creative or expressive arts therapies
that use dance, music or drama. One of the
major differences between art therapy and
other forms of communication is that most
other forms of communication elicit the use
of words or language as a means of
Malchiodi (2006)[ provides an example of what an art
therapy session involves and how it is different from
an art class. "In most art therapy sessions, the focus
is on your inner experience—your feelings,
perceptions, and imagination. While art therapy may
involve learning skills or art techniques, the emphasis
is generally first on developing and expressing
images that come from inside the person, rather than
those he or she sees in the outside world. And while
some traditional art classes may ask you to paint or
draw from your imagination, in art therapy, your
inner world of images, feelings, thoughts, and ideas
are always of primary importance to the experience.
1. Dry Media 2. Wet Media
Pen - Pen and ink
Charcoal -Brush and ink
3. Painting 4. Print Making
-Watercolour - Monotype
-Tempera - Linocut
-Fresco - Woodcut
-Oil Paint -Sponge
-Acrylic - Lithography
Spray Paint etc.
- Plaster etc.
What happens when we mix the three primary
Take three colour paint tubes of your choice
and mix them together what New Colour
those three can produce.
Draw your favourite object and colour the
object with New shade.
Have you ever noticed that colours seem to
have different temperatures?
Think about it now!
They remind us of the sun or fire and can
add a feeling of excitement, boldness or
happiness to a work of art. Warm colours
make objects seem larger and appear to
advance in an artwork.
They remind us of lakes, distant
mountains, sky and foliage. Cool colours tend
to be calm and restful. They recede into the
distance and make object smaller.
Deal with emotions like anger and sadness
through these helpful exercises.
Draw or paint your emotions. In this exercise, you'll focus
entirely on painting what you're feeling.
Create an emotion wheel. Using color, this activity will
have you thinking critically about your emotions.
Make a meditative painting. Looking for a creative way to
relax? Have trouble sitting still to meditate? Meditative
painting might be just the thing you're looking for. No
painting skill or experience necessary - only a desire to
relax and become more creative.
Put together a journal. Journals don't have to just be based
around words. You can make an art journal as well, that
lets you visually express your emotions.
Explore puppet therapy. Puppets aren't just for kids. Make
your own and have them act out scenes that make you
Art therapy can be a great way to relax.
Consider these exercises if you're looking to
feel a little more laid back.
Paint to music. Letting your creativity flow in
response to music is a great way to let out feelings
and just relax.
Make a scribble drawing. With this activity, you'll turn
a simple scribble into something beautiful, using line,
color and your creativity.
Finger paint. Finger painting isn't just fun for kids–
adults can enjoy it as well. Get your hands messy and
really have fun spreading paint around.
Make a mandala. Whether you use the traditional
sand or draw one on your own, this meditative
symbol can easily help you to loosen up.
Draw with your eyes closed. Not being able to see
what you are drawing intensifies fluidity, intuition,
touch and sensitivity.
Switch off the lights and sit in a dark corner
with a pencil and a blank paper.
Try to draw or sketch whatever you want.
This will help you in de-stress yourself.
Take a look inside your mind to see what's going on
with these projects.
Create a blot art. Like a classic Rorschach test, fold
paper in half with paint or ink in the middle and
describe what you see.
Mind Mapping. Make a visual representation of your
thoughts to figure out how your mind works.
Make a dreamcatcher. Having bad dreams? Create
this age-old tool for catching your dreams with a few
Draw your dreams. You can learn a lot from what
goes on in your dreams, so keep a dream journal and
use it for inspiration to draw or paint.
Emotions- Draw your recent emotion by
using the available items for drawing &
Trauma & Loss – Draw a place where you
think, you feel safe.