That art is therapy- and even more than that is something that needs no reinstation. For centuries and millennia and ages, that is to say ever since the human has existed in some form of civilisation, art has been vital to their living. As outlets in creativity and expression that grants one a freedom from the futile pursuits of life to gain full flight into the more expansive experience in living, art in many forms and genres and beings of assertion has helped indeed our species to cope with the trudgeries of the world.
No wonder that the modern human has done well then to very specifically explore this therapeutic essence of which art is so characteristic a identity. And thus we have accruing to us such benefits of this wonderful medium in artistic elocution that essentially leads us on a path of holistic well being through its occurrence in the much crucial character of what is experienced as emotional healing.
Despite its prevailing in much universality and for much of the time of existing for the human race, art therapy would come to attain concrete identity only in the 20th century. The essences of it has long ruled indeed, in helping preserve the sanity and mental health of our entire world of homo sapiens in being such a personal yet universal expression in the conflicts and tumults of the soul unfairly subject to restrictions of the exerting physical mode of existence. Even the ‘recognition’ of its gratifying essence has long been esteemed a case in acknowledgment- not that it called for it anyway to be its own profound self of as much significance. Its institutional exaltation though would follow only in its definite arising as a term in 1942, coined by British artist Adrian Hill in his own first hand deciphering the exemplary liberty of this discipline.
As an emerging discipline of those times though, art therapy had already been interpreted in similar such connotations during the years of the late 18th century. In fact it was at that time a rather common approach in psychiatric treatment. Continuing along that vein of assertion is modern day art therapy that aims at a host of emotional and mental health benefits for the therapised individual as a somewhat unconventional approach of the medical.
A residing in the creative arts therapy realm of greater establishment is this emergence of art therapy as a specific dimension in attending to the human desire for unhindered expression of their inner self. It is by being at once a mechanism in coping with the inner conflicts of the soul and in addressing them such through very personal forms of self revealing that art bears within itself the immense power of occurring as a treatment in therapy.
Through their indulging in various forms of the arts, limited though in scope to expressing purely as art but free still in their pursuing of the creativity of core human perceiving, art therapies aim to help the human find an outlet to vent the indescribable agony and trauma perhaps of what they happen to be experiencing. The arising of such tumultuous experience of the emotional might even be one derived out of such physical affliction that stagnates also their mental spectrum of growth.
Worse still, their emotional state of well being might in fact be even greatly weighed down due to their residing in an unfavourable condition of the body. That impedes in turn their physical recovery by draining their very spirit and soul off the ‘humours’ of existence. Which is why art therapy makes for such a necessary route to embark upon along the trails of the medical so as to achieve for the human a wholesome experience in life.
Painting and sketching and crafting and sculpting and collaging and carving, and even photography and digital art, or just about anything that stems from one’s inner desire to create, sums up the larger repertoire of what conveniently classifies as art therapy. So coveted and necessary had been this expression in terms of artistry to help humans find a meaningful way out of the mess their lives tend to be that art therapy as a profession creating thus art therapists found independent exploring and encouragement in the U.S. and Europe of the mid twentieth century.
Interactive in its fusing of the creative element of art with the medical unfurling in psychotherapy, the latter identifying as the more traditional approach in talk therapy, art therapy is a unique and more scopious assertion across the dimensions of what concerns human health in all medicalness. Even within this specific expression though, art therapy still manifests in three ways of much distinction. As analytic art therapy, as art psychotherapy and another not so definitely named but as definite dealing with the process of creating the art, this differential way in leading humans to an enriching experience in living is one owing its influence still to the many a capacities through which history has worked itself into its revered realisation.
Art therapy is effective primarily because it happens to be a more natural response of us humans to what is required to be derived out of us as a very individual way in our own better residing. It helps that art therapy is more fun and less ‘challenging’ than the traditional talk therapy, which is why it has come to be an alternative to the latter. With creativity being a very spontaneous flow of emotions that does not rely on the alphabetical specifications to relay exactly the feels of what is characterising our inner being, it is understandable indeed why art lives up to its reputation in liberalness in ever single spectrum of its doing.
It also is essential though to understand and accept that the therapeutic route relying heavily upon the power of the art to eke out for the human expected results in benefit tends to be one of greater process. That is to say art therapy essentially entails as a long term consideration and one that can be quite conflicting as well in its call for patience and time. But that also is exactly what aids the reputation of art in emerging as therapy since healing indeed is a slow and steady process that needs to be taken exactly that way.
Wanting to accentuate the healing process to achieve steady results can be an exercise in much adverseness in fact. And it is by allowing the human to truly and fully cope with and recover from their residing in not so conducive an assertion of reality that art therapy proves to be an exploration in more potential.
This notion of therapy being ‘fun’ is as non traditional as a refraining almost, or a non thrust at least upon the verbal way in expressing tends to be. Essentially then in such non standard manner of existence, even after a considerable many decades of arising, as well as in the enjoyable quotient of its process as well might seem to make art therapy less accountable an account in what it needs to be. For therapy is not viewed in understandings of the relaxing as a process, even when it is intended to bring about indeed that dwelling in desirableness, that art therapy might be a ‘lesser’ way of addressing the all important requirement in human health.
Choosing to take therapy the art way can be rather helpful indeed in it being more abstract a concept than the talking approach to therapeutic benefits. Having to put in words might not be as genuine a exploring of the inner conflicts, for it makes indeed the individual immediately more conscious of what they are delivering. It also is this stream of consciousness that might prove to be an impediment in terms of both the limitations of language as well as the difficulty of having to actively recall and retell their experience in sufferings, making treading the therapeutic trail a dwelling in greater distress instead.
The uses and benefits thus of which art therapy is expected to yield happen to be one of greater diversity. Despite its playing out through its three main forms, art therapy in the current times also can be explored in many different approaches as suits the specific needs and demands of the state of existence of the individuals. Largely functioning along such physical spectrums of requirement that relates to an improvement in cognitive functioning as well in sensory awareness and a regulation of moto function, while helping also the emotional and/ or mental cause in enhancing self esteem and self awareness and even social skills, the therapeutic thrill of the arts is one greatly serving the notions of expectations.
Even more traditionally, or ‘historically’ perhaps, art therapy continues to be an aide in resolving conflicts as well while being also a means in enhanced communication. Less traditionally though, the feel of art therapy not occurring as the typical experience of such sessions in healing through technique also is what makes it an increasingly attractive proposition to instead seek out for those ‘intimidated’ almost by the somewhat demanding one-on-one prospects in interaction.
Equally liberating can be a seeking out of art therapy as an option in healing that does not necessarily entail out of health concerns. Even attending to such experiences not traumatic in the overwhelming kind of it but occurring perhaps as stigmatised or embarrassed instances in wrongdoing would be this medium of the artistic that also therefore is differently inclusive an area in curation. In also its diverse interpretation, given of course the identity of it as art that is essentially unrestrained and non-adhering to norms and expectations and etiquette of delivering and not acceding as well to the proper norms of articulating, flourishing instead as art as vague and multi-ended and cosmopolitan as it can be, and art therapy truly is therapeutic of a kind that is more engaging and less obliging.