- Arts therapies
Creative expression plays an important role in our development and in many cases has been found to assist in the recovery of mental distress. Arts therapies employ creative arts in a therapeutic setting with a trained therapist, with the aim of encouraging individuals to draw on their inner creative resources and express their feelings without necessarily using words.
The use of the arts in counselling can add another dimension to the way a diversity of life issues can be explored in the therapy room. An image, such as a drawing, painting, collage or a clay figure can clarify what is being communicated in the therapy.
Below you will find common art therapies, including dramatherapy and music therapy. To learn more about the benefits of art therapies and what to expect from sessions, visit the dedicated fact-sheets.
Art therapy or art psychotherapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art materials such as paints, clay and paper. These tools are used to communicate issues, emotions and feelings and can provide an insight into any conflicts that may be present.
As well as helping those with mental health issues, art therapy can be beneficial to a wide range of people including young children, the elderly and those in the justice system. You do not need previous experience or skills in art to benefit from art therapy, but an openness and willingness to express yourself.
Dramatherapy is a form of psychological therapy that applies acting and performance techniques within a therapeutic environment. The aim of dramatherapy is to help those taking part to express themselves while helping to address difficult emotions.
A dramatherapist will use different techniques and may help you create a fictional story to portray. The story will typically be your own but introducing fictional characters to understand and work through the emotions and difficulties you have experienced. Through creating this space, you should expect to find clarity and a sense of relief.
Music therapy is a type of creative therapy that harnesses the communicative power of music to foster positive change. Versatile by nature, music therapy can be used for a range of issues including autism, dementia and anxiety.
Techniques in music therapy may include singing, rhythmic based activities, improvisation and listening.
Music therapy does not aim to teach you how to play an instrument. You may naturally pick up some rhythmic control and develop a sensitivity to pitch, but typically you will not learn, nor will you need to have any prior skill or knowledge in music.
What our experts say
- Counselling as an active and creative process9th May, 2019
- Living a creative life 30th January, 2018
- ‘Out of what door do I go, where and to whom?’: from anxiety to flow8th February, 2017
- How writing your own story can help your emotional pain18th November, 2015
- Creative therapeutic approaches11th September, 2015