Creative expression can help recover from mental disorders

Creative expression can help recover from mental disorders

Mental illness can affect anyone at any stage and each person deals with it differently. For some, it can be a lifelong battle, if the disease is undiagnosed or untimely untreated. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to treating mental disorders. Different mental illnesses have different symptoms and even the needs of a patient are different. While treating the problem, at times, there is a need for non-verbal therapies to channelize a patient’s feelings in a positive way by working on their creative abilities. One such therapeutic therapy is creative arts that can give expression to the complex web of emotions and thoughts that a mentally distressed person might be experiencing.

Creative art therapy focuses on the process rather than the final outcome. It tracks the journey of the inner self of an individual by giving a platform to his/her frustrations, disappointments, fears, doubts, worries and desires. Those who complain of stress or unexpressed feelings find relief in art therapy that helps them cope with various difficulties and attain recovery. One need not be an artist to benefit from such a therapy.

Indulging in art therapy helps patients in:

  • unwinding and relaxing
  • giving vent to feelings that cannot be explained in words
  • developing awareness about self and environment
  • raising self-esteem and hope
  • managing behavioral issues
  • finding solutions to problems by assessing them from an alternate perspective

The greatest advantage of art therapy is that it’s not confined within the four walls; it can be practiced in the open as well.

Art therapy helps in rebuilding lives

The process of art therapy is simple. It helps the participants put forth their innermost experiences, develop a sense of self, and bring about a positive change in their lives and behavior. In addition to creating art through colors or tools, the practitioners utilize relaxation and visualization methods supported by guided imagery during the therapy session. Whether it be painting, making sculpture or working with clay, a person is in better control of herself/himself by reframing thoughts and translating them into fruitful actions.

While mentally distressed people find it difficult to adapt themselves to their environment, the artistic world gives them the freedom to do whatever they want to in the absence of triggers. They learn to control their agitation and anger by focusing on a constructive activity. They can express themselves sans any inhibition.

Looking at the benefits of art therapy, many psychotherapy sessions now rely on creative pursuits such as music sessions, dance movement, drama, poetry groups, sand tray therapy, etc. To augment the effect of art therapy, medical practitioners often combine art forms with yoga and meditation to alleviate stress levels and improve overall well-being. Creative arts is therapeutic, especially for children, as it provides them with a sense of safety, happiness and pride. Even when they are at an age where they can talk about their problems, they might not be able to express. Therefore, it’s essential to have such experiential therapies in schools.

Need for holistic treatment

The biggest hindrance to recovery from psychological disruptions is patients’ unwillingness to realize that they need help to lead better lives. Their deterrence to seek professional help not only impedes the treatment process but also creates unwarranted hurdles, which can affect their psychological and physiological health.

At White River Academy, one of the best boarding schools in Utah for boys aged between 12-17 years, we not just look after the educational needs of our students but also believe in making learning a continuous process that goes beyond the confines of the classrooms. The professionals at the Utah boarding school for troubled youth lend the best possible care to the affected boys so that they learn to cope with stress and trauma that might be affecting their lives. For more information, you can call our 24/7 helpline number or chat with our online counselors.

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