The English Language has about 170,000 words that can be used to express everything from how to fix a Mustang to rocket science to love. But even 200,000 words is often not enough to fully convey what we’re experiencing, how we are feeling, and what we need to share. There are feelings and emotions and struggles where the English language is simply not enough, and unless we want to all learn dozens of other languages hoping to find the words we need to share how we feel, we need other ways to convey what the English language cannot.
That is why some patients find that what they need isn’t words at all. What they need is art therapy.
Why Art Therapy Exists
Art therapy is designed to do what words can’t. It’s designed to give people a way to convey things without worrying about whether or not they know the words to do it. Patients with trauma, that may have trouble expressing themselves, can use art to do it so that they do not have to find the words.
It is the ability of art therapy to help share thoughts and ideas in situations where words are not enough that makes it so valuable. Art is expression, and so using art therapy to express ends up giving the patient the ability to show the therapist what they need to say and work through those emotions together.
That is what makes art therapy so valuable. But it is also not the only benefit. Art:
- Gives the patient a chance to process their emotions and traumas in a safe, productive way.
- Takes it slow. Art isn’t fast, which means that art therapy doesn’t overwhelm the patient.
- Starts a conversation. Working with a trained art therapist allows the therapist and the patient to have a starting point for the conversation.
Art therapy also does not have to be the only type of therapy. It can be a complementary therapy to other treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Combining therapies is thought to make the process more effective, allowing the patient multiple avenues to recovery.
The English language may have 170,000 words. But sometimes, all you really need is a paintbrush. Learn more about art therapy and how it allows for better self-expression by contacting Flourish Psychology, today.