Why Creative Arts Therapies are More Important Than Ever

Why Creative Arts Therapies are More Important Than Ever
by Nathanial Bridges Nov, 1 2023

Why Embrace The Arts in Healing

If there's one thing I know to be true, it's that creative arts therapies have played an unsung but incredibly valuable role in mental health treatment. The beauty of creative arts therapy is in its subtlety, in the way it quietly proffers solace, support and an avenue of expression to individuals too encumbered by traditional methods of therapy. Almost feels like painting a masterpiece with each brush stroke symbolising a therapeutic intervention, doesn't it? But it's not just about painting. It's an amalgamation of various forms of creative arts including music, dance, drama, writing, and others.

The Power of Expression in Creative Arts Therapies

As a kid, I was encouraged by my parents to express myself through any form of art that could potentially translate my emotions and thoughts. In retrospect, those vibrant stories I cooked up with my crayons and imaginary friends were nothing less than my early interaction with creative arts therapy. As any artist would tell you, sometimes, words fail us and emotions end up in a jumbled mess inside our heads. When that happens, creative arts therapies step in transforming the mess into a beautiful mosaic of feelings and healing.

Why Creative Arts Therapy Is Essential Now

In recent years, it seems as though the world has been hit by a nonstop tidal wave of crises. Life has become akin to a heap of tangled threads, and amid the chaos, mental health illnesses have been on the rise. There is no better time than now to understand, accept and promote the notion of Creative Arts Therapies. In an era where it's just as important to take care of our mental health as it is taking our daily vitamins, creative art therapies have taken the limelight. They've sneaked in quietly, becoming a prominent feature in mental health support systems globally.

Demystifying Creative Arts Therapies

Before we dive any deeper, let's answer the million-dollar question, what exactly is creative art therapy? Simply put, creative arts therapy is a form of therapy that uses the arts or some form of creative activity in the therapeutic process. It's not all about creating an awe-inspiring masterpiece; instead, it's about the process of creating. Expression rather than perfection, as I like to put it. Logically, it doesn't mean spending long hours harmonising strings of a violin or elaborate foot-works on a ballet stage. It's as simple as letting your thoughts flow over a piece of paper or dancing like nobody's watching.

A Deeper Dive into Different Forms of Creative Arts Therapies

Did you know there's a world of creative arts therapies just waiting to be explored? Its spectrum encompasses a plethora of options that indeed cater to different needs and capacities. There's art therapy where one communicates through drawing, painting, or sculpture. Music therapy involves drums, guitars, or even a Zen-like session of sound-filled meditation. Dance/movement therapy lets you stomp, twirl, or sway your feelings. Drama therapy enables one to act out scenarios, explore personal growth or, as I like to put it, give life to your story. And lastly, writing therapy, where blank pages unfold healing words. A veritable smorgasbord to suit all kinds of people and the disparate ways in which we express our inner worlds.

Science Says Yes to Creative Arts Therapies

Are you thinking what I am thinking? Is there any scientific backing to these therapies or are they merely another attempt at solving complex mental health issues? I'm tickled pink to tell you that yes, science and various studies have substantiated the effectiveness of creative arts therapies. Recent studies have shown that engagement in creative activities has direct correlations with reducing stress, improving cognitive functions, and even increasing our happiness quotient. It's a bit like baking a cake; when done right, the result is nothing short of sweet, gratifying and oh so satisfying.

From Skeptic to Believer: A Personal Journey

All right, enough theory. Let's delve into a more personal story. Mine, in fact. A few years back, I started experiencing panic attacks for reasons unbeknownst to me. As a skeptical individual, I was hesitant about therapies, assuming they were just leeches latching onto my wallet. One day, overwhelmed and desperate, I decided to give writing therapy a shot. For a guy who'd spent his life shying away from expressing his feelings, that was a humongous step. It caught me by surprise how liberating it was to pour my anxieties out onto a page. Every word that spilled onto the paper somehow robbed my panic and fear of its power over me. I wasn't zapped magically into 'perfect mental health' but for the first time in many months, I felt unburdened. That's when I recognised the immense potential of art therapies and began passionately advocating for their normalisation and acceptance.

Creative Arts Therapies: The Way Forward

As we fast forward into the future, it has become increasingly vital to recognise and appreciate the salient role played by creative arts therapies in the sphere of mental health management. It's time to shrug off any remnants of misplaced notion that these therapies are 'alternative' or 'elitist'. They are neither, they are for everyone. So, whether you find solace in strumming a guitar, lose yourself in a sea of paint or find peace in an eloquent poem, remember, you're tapping into the healing potential of creative arts therapies. As Victor Hugo profoundly said, "Art is the daughter of freedom." And what greater freedom than being able to express and heal oneself? Till next time, respect your emotions and express yourself folks. One art form at a time!