top of page

A Brief Look into Art Therapy


by Rachel Smith

May is Mental Health Awareness month, and it is crucial to address the various stressors and mental health issues we encounter in life. The most important thing is learning how to manage and cope with it in a healthy manner. One of the many ways of doing so is through something called art therapy.


Art therapy is a form of therapy that incorporates creative outlets like drawing, painting, and sculpture to help people express themselves to deal with emotional distress and other mental health issues. With an art therapist, they can receive help and interpretation of various symbols found in their works and learn how to process their feelings so they can resolve deeper issues (Art therapy). This therapeutic method is founded on the belief that self-expression via art has value to those who are healing or seeking a better understanding of themselves or their own behaviors. Art therapy is often used with individuals, couples or groups in a variety of settings. These can range from hospitals to private counseling. Art therapists are trained to understand the numerous roles that color, texture and the media used can be interpreted in the therapeutic process. Art therapy has also been used to help people manage stress, depression, trauma, grief, and also physical illnesses and disabilities.


In Tallahassee, Florida State University (FSU) has its own art therapy program under the College of Fine Arts' Art Education department (Art therapy 2021). There are also numerous student-led art organizations on FSU's campus as well. For example, the Student Art Studio for Healing and the Student Art Therapy Association at FSU are a couple that delve specifically into art as a therapeutic process.


For this blog post, the artwork chosen is Red Sun by Cheryl Eggleston, one of the many artists whose work Venvi Art Gallery has on display and on our website. Eggleston works by drawing sketches onto paper to free herself from distractions, making it easier to process her thoughts, feelings and ideas. Then she transfers her design onto canvas and paints until she finds harmony, balance within color fields and edgy transitions between the various angles and lines within her work. She also looks for repeating patterns and includes some circles for relief in her works. The angles, lines, and repeating patterns found in her works represent boundaries, which provide familiarity to her. The familiarity and expectedness of these elements in her work are comforting for Eggleston. The creative process and goal behind her works are therapeutic in a way, which is similar to art therapy.


Art can be a creative outlet for self-expression, which can be therapeutic to many as it can help in the healing process and provide a deeper understanding into one's psyche and behaviors. As we get through life and its daily struggles, finding a healthy way to cope and manage it is important. Art therapy can be helpful in managing stress and coping in a healthy manner which allows one to express their emotions in a creative way. If you or someone you know is struggling or has a lot on their mind, give art therapy a try.


Sources:

Florida State University. (2021, August 24). Art therapy. Department of Art Education. https://arted.fsu.edu/programs/art-therapy/

Psychology Today Staff. (n.d.-a). Art therapy. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/art-therapy

Psychology Today Staff. (n.d.-b). Therapy. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/therapy



16 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comentários


bottom of page