is described by the dictionary as Psychotherapy which
incorporates the production of visual art (painting,
sculpture, etc) in order to understand and express one's
It is a branch of psychotherapy that applies processes of
artistic creation on the subject to heal. A psychotherapist
uses this technique on varied clients in informal settings
i.e. studios, workshops etc.
Specialists have discovered through experimentation that the
process involved in creating art is immensely healing,
brings one in touch with ones emotions and boosts self-
esteem. Art is a healing force which counters stress, trauma
and enhances the cognitive skills of the subject.
Art Therapy can be broadly classified under three heads.
1) Art Therapy - Defines the application of principles which
rule visual arts for psycho therapy.
2) Creative Art Therapy - Covers the application of therapy
in creative fields like dance, drama, music, and writing.
3) Expressive Art Therapy - This is applied through the
performing arts to for psychological healing.
Primitive man vented his artistic instincts for self
preservation and understanding since time immemorial and
history of all cultures is strewn with instances of art
being used for psychological health of individuals and
Based on these facts, psychiatrists started experimenting
with art work to cure mentally ill patients and developing
children with immense success. Art Therapy started carving
its niche as a profession in 1940s and by mid century it was
incorporated as a specialized field in hospitals, schools
and mental health clinics. It has however truly come into
its own in the present times.
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