How Does Art Therapy Help?

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

artist paint palette

“I paint the way some people write an autobiography. The paintings, finished or not, are the pages from my diary.”

– Pablo Picasso

According to the American Art Therapy Association, “art therapy is an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through art-making, creative processes, applied psychology theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship.” Anyone, no matter their age, can explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, discover themselves in a more meaningful way, learn to manage their behavior, learn social skills, improve their reality orientation, reduce their anxiety and increase their self-esteem by utilizing art therapy.

Art therapy can assist so many people, no matter their circumstances. The Arts in Psychotherapy found that art therapy helped patients who suffered from breast cancer and was shown to assist with quality of life, coping, and support. A study in International Journal of Palliative Nursing found that art therapy helped people who were dying by enhancing their emotional awareness, fostering meaning-making, and promoting reflection on death. Art therapy is not just for those who suffer from a chronic illness or those who are nearing their death, however – art therapy can be used to help people who suffer from anxiety and depression as well.

Art therapy typically consists of drawing, sculpting, painting, dancing, storytelling, and music. These can take place in individual or group settings, and some families may even wish to partake in art therapy together as well. Creating something often helps people express themselves in a way that they can’t express verbally – what a person can’t say in therapy they may be able to draw out or explain via sculpture, etc.

Art therapy provides us with tools to discover our feelings and explore our perception of the world. If you haven’t tried it yet, consider trying art therapy at home or with others at a therapy center. Who knows – you may uncover something about yourself that you didn’t know before.


Residential treatment programs give you the time you need to focus on healing. Avalon Malibu is one of California’s only certified primary mental health treatment facility providing trusted programs with trusted results. For a confidential assessment and more information, call us today: 888-958-7511

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