Art therapy as a path to rehabilitation through art and mental health

A path traced by art therapy that everyone can take for their physical and mental well-being

Art therapy. Taking care of yourself is an arduous task and, especially in this sad historical moment when humanity needs not only economic but above all emotional recovery, it becomes a necessary action.

To get us back on track in this complicated chaos comes art, very often mistreated, in all its facets: music, singing, dancing, painting, music, theater, etc.

Although man since antiquity has always used art to express himself, as a discipline art therapy (art as a therapeutic modality) was born in the 1940s mainly thanks to the contributions of two scholars , Margaret Naumburg and Edith Kramer.

The AATA (American Art Therapy Association) defines art therapy as “A mental health profession that uses the creative process to improve and elevate the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of individuals, regardless of age.”

At the beginning of “his career”, this new discipline was mainly used in the medical field as a support for the care of people with mental disorders, both severe (psychotics and autistic) and less severe (anxiety, mood disorders, etc). Especially patients with particular difficulties in communicating have found, and still find today in this form of therapy, an alternative way to speaking, thus promoting both the relationship and the ability to socialize by increasing their self-esteem.

Even for those who are undergoing a rehabilitation process, this form of therapy is widely used. Indeed, it also helps those who have suffered neurological damage or who have physical disabilities to accept their illness/handicap, to be more independent and more inclined to socialize.

Another sector where art therapy is becoming more and more essential, and fortunately, is spreading is that of education with the aim of preventing possible psychological and social disorders. Indeed, this course aims to educate in sensitivity, creativity, self-awareness and self-acceptance, thus bringing benefits to our psycho-physical health.

More and more so-called normal people, adults and children, who, following an event that has caused them a crisis (separation, bereavement, school failure, abandonment, etc.), are approaching this form of therapy as a means of finding a balance with oneself and with others. It should be remembered, in fact, that by health we mean not only the absence of any pathology (physical or psychological) but a dynamic balance between the physical, psychological and social aspects.

Therefore, an art therapy journey is not a time when the individual acquires or does not acquire a new skill or achieves or does not achieve a good performance but, by exploiting the atavistic communicative capacity of art , he manages to bring out his own discomfort. and communicate it to others through a creative act of liberation.

Through art, in fact, the potential of the individual, often unexplored, is activated and frees the imagination and the imagination. These two qualities act in a positive way on the person because, by lowering the tension, they favor a more serene acceptance, then a serene management, of his ill-being, allowing to make peace with oneself, and consequently , with the surrounding world.

This form of therapy that we can all resort to…from those with cognitive, sensory, psychological and social difficulties, to normal people…it is absolutely not intended to replace traditional medicine but rather, for all those who follow pharmacological treatments, it is intended to be a support and a valid ally because it promotes the effectiveness of the response to medical treatment and improves the quality of life of patients with serious illnesses.

Therefore, it is hoped that this collaboration between medical and integrative therapies can expand since taking care means doing it in the totality of the person by considering both the aspects inherent to the body and those relating to the mind and spirit. spirit since they are elements that, although they seem distinct, they are in fact closely linked, influencing and reinforcing each other.

Thus, from Hippocrates (father of medicine) to the current construction of the galenic system, the constant element is the consideration of the patient as an individual to be considered as a whole, both the material part (the body) and the intangible. part (psyche) so that in addition to quantity, quality can be added to life.

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