Guest View: Using art to improve mental well-being | Editorial

When people think of ways to cope with difficult life events, it usually sounds like the most common methods of talking to a trusted friend or family member, exercising, breathe deeply and sometimes seek therapy. One of the coping skills that people tend to overlook is the use of art. Art therapy is another unique approach to channeling your inner feelings, emotions, stress, and trauma.

Art therapy is a unique approach to channeling inner feelings, emotions, stress, and trauma through mediums such as painting, sculpture, poetry, creative writing, music, and photography. Using art as a form of therapy can help develop self-awareness and coping skills, increase self-esteem and confidence, improve cognitive and motor functions, reduce stress and strengthen communication and social skills.

Centerstone Peer Support Services offers a variety of creative activities, including participation in the Healing Arts Project, Inc., (HAPI), a non-profit organization providing opportunities for people with mental health and recovery issues substance abuse to promote healing, community awareness and inclusion. . Centerstone’s peer support activities help create a safe and inclusive environment where people with mental health issues or substance use disorders can work toward goals with other peers while participating in learning and leisure activities.

People also read…

Some of the activities include art competitions, visiting art museums and specific art exhibitions, decorating installations with client artwork, professional art classes, and the opportunity to sell artwork through HAPI. The overall goal for those who use art as a form of therapy is to grow by gaining confidence and developing future skills that will help with mental health issues or substance use disorders.

It’s important to understand that some people might not benefit from traditional therapy, and that’s why it’s encouraged for people to explore options that might work better for them. If you’re wondering about the impact of traditional therapy, here are some of the benefits of finding a creative outlet such as art therapy:

Relieves symptoms. Taking time to focus on art can help relieve your anxiety, depression, and stress. Practicing art and channeling your emotions can help alleviate some of your symptoms and promote the development of positive coping skills and artistic techniques.

Increases confidence. For some clients, it may be more difficult to express their feelings or even express their feelings, and art is another way to express feelings. Another reason for creating art is the reward of seeing it displayed – seeing your own work completed and displayed can really boost your confidence, which is great for you and your art!

Social connection. One of the benefits of Centerstone’s peer support services and other similar programs is that you can create art individually or in a group. Whichever method you prefer, you meet other people, create lasting and supportive friendships and learn different artistic techniques from professionals.

Improves concentration. Most of the time, when we get so wrapped up in creating things like art, we lose track of time and start improving our concentration skills with our artwork. This kind of focus is good for us when we are trying to relax and find peace within ourselves and just enjoy creating art.

If you’re trying to cope with difficult emotions and traditional forms of therapy haven’t given you the results you’re looking for, ask a mental health professional about art as a means of healing. They can provide more tools on how to manage your mental health issues and other tips for coping.

Benjamin Overby is Team Leader of Peer Support Services at Centerstone, a nonprofit health system specializing in mental health and addictions services.

About Julius Southworth

Check Also

Jeffrey Goldberg: Against Labels – The Atlantic

Dear reader, Sometimes I write to you about the sorry state of our democracy, other …