Art therapy is a form of emotional support for people dealing with difficult & challenging issues.
Art therapy is used by people with depression, anxiety, addiction, people with chronic limiting illnesses including cancer, people with disabilities, people with relationship problems, eating disorders, learning disabilities and in senior citizen homes. Child psychologist and therapist also use art therapy for their patients.
In many cases art therapy has proven to be a valuable compliment to medication & talk therapy for many forms of phobias & people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
According to Robert Reiner, Phd, an NYU psychologist "The act of performing a craft is incompatible with worry, anger, obsession & anxiety. Crafts make you concentrate & focus on the here & now & distract you from everyday pressures & problems. They're stress busters in the same way that mediation, deep breathing, visual imagery & watching fish are."
When we hear people talk about crafting, many people automatically think hobby or things people create to sell to others. It is rare people would associate it with or as a sort of therapeutic or healing process.
Crafting is much more than a personal outlet for self expression. Crafters do it because they love it but many crafters such as myself create in order to help with my depression, anxiety and PTSD.
Doing crafts is a way to pass time, it is a way of life. Crafting of any kind helps to reduce anxiety, improve your mood & increases happiness.
Crafting is known as a secret weapon against fighting depression. What is major depression? According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression is considered a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Major depression or depression on any level is considered one of the most common mental disorders in the US.
There are many people who do not believe in using medications & who refuse to go see a therapist or psychologist because they do not want to air out their issues to strangers. I myself have heard people say this to me when I have referred them to therapists. Consider this form of therapy a non-medicated alternative.
By focusing on your craft you are creating an element of positive energy & it allows you to focus primarily on the positive things going on in your life. Being fully "focused" on a craft project can have an effect similar to meditation as it significantly reduces a person's state of anxiety while lifting your spirit. By being creative you are giving yourself a unique opportunity to express yourself and change your perspective on life which can help change your negative emotions into positive emotions. It helps you forget your condition, your troubles & your state of mind by elevating your mood. It makes you happy for a long period of time.
Crafting allows your imagination to run wild. It can transform you while healing you. It is great for our mental, physical & spiritual health because it is therapeutic. It helps relieve stress from everyday pressures, ease your pain & distracts your mind while healing your soul.
Art therapy is great for health & our relationships for many reasons. It keeps our hands, heart & mind busy while keeping us sane.
According to Herbert Benson, MD, Harvard Universities world-renowned mind/body expert, repetitive & rhythmic crafts such as knitting may even evoke what he calls the relaxation response - a feeling of bodily & mental calm that has been scientifically proven to enhance health & reduce the risk of heat disease, anxiety & depression. Encourage your loved ones to get creative.
Always talk to a healthcare provider as they feel medications and/or counseling is necessary; however in addition to the traditional recommendations, consider art therapy.
Many people put crafting to the side or don't see the benefits from it so they put it in on the bottom of their to do list. Some feel guilty for doing something for themselves.Some find it counterproductive but as you can clearly see after this article, crafting is extremely beneficial.
It is been proven that crafting is good for our health. I cannot stress that enough. Crafting is a way of valuing yourself & giving to yourself by soothing your soul & distressing your body & mind.
Craft alone, with a partner or in a group setting but make sure you craft & enjoy it.
Project 9 Line offers veterans including those suffering from PTSD, support meeting, creativity & social activity experiences plus more. A particular focus is placed upon helping veterans showcase their talent through art therapy.