Benefits of Therapeutic Art in the Coaching Process
“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” ~ Pablo Picasso
Art is …
“Art – no matter whether you choose to create it yourself or simply observe and enjoy it – is a relaxing and inspiring activity for many people. However, the particular benefits of artistic expression go much further than relaxation and enjoyment. Studies suggest that art therapy can be very valuable in treating issues such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and even some phobias. It is a great way to express your emotions without words, process complex feelings and find relief..”
History of Art Therapy
“Art therapy has been around since the 1940s. Two pioneers in the field, Margaret Naumburg and Edith Kramer, used art therapy as a way to help clients tap into their inner thoughts, feelings and experiences through creative expression. Therapist use patients’ free form art expressions to encourage them to talk about the images and to begin to look to themselves for meaning and insight. Combined with talk therapy, it can help people deal with strong emotions, increase self-awareness and self-worth and decrease stress and anxiety. Art therapy can involve a variety of creative expression including drawing, painting, colouring or sculpting, to name a few.”
“Art therapy uses all forms of art such as drawing, painting, sculpture, and photography. As opposed to an art class that concentrates on technique and talent, art therapy encourages natural expression at all ability levels. It is not about a creating a masterpiece. Rather it is about the process. Art therapy is used in two main ways. It may simply be a form of relaxation and meditation. A person engrossed in an art project may get in the “zone” allowing the brain to concentrate on the process, which in turn induces peace and relaxation. Art therapy can also aid the therapeutic analytic process. For instance, the colours and content of a painting may reveal emotional or thought processes about an individual. Art therapists facilitate the sessions.”
Benefits of Art Therapy
“In her book, The Art Therapy Sourcebook, Cathy Malchiodi, a leading expert in today’s art therapy movement, states that, through art therapy “people may find relief from overwhelming emotions, crises or trauma. They may discover insights about themselves, increase their sense of well-being, enrich their daily lives through creative expression, or experience personal transformation.””
Art therapy tools have also moved outside of mental health facilities and into other community settings such as schools, shelters, nursing homes, residential treatment facilities, halfway houses and even coaching.
Art Therapy inspired activities in Coaching
The main difference between therapy and coaching is…
Art therapists are master-level clinicians who work often with people who have medical and mental health challenges such as substance abuse, relationship difficulties, trauma, grief/loss, and a wide variety of day-to-day challenges and struggles. A therapist’s training allows them to work with people who have severe mental health issues.
Coaches work with individuals who are highly functioning but want more out of life by utilising coaching tools and techniques.
Both therapists and properly trained coaches can help individuals who want to make changes in their lives.
Coaching tends to focus on the present and future rather than the past. Coaches help people identify their goals and the obstacles they are facing. Like therapy, coaching involves guidance and support but also places a great deal of emphasis on accountability, enabling people to do more than they might on their own.
When we decide to make major changes in our lives, it is very likely that feelings and emotions show up that have not been explored before. Using creative art task can support us to address, process and release strong emotions; let go of patters of thinking and behaviour, forgive inevitable mistakes we make in life, and to leave all that do not support us any more behind.
Benefits of Therapeutic Art Activities
Therapeutic Art Activities are a great compliment to the coaching process. Instead of simply making lists of ideas, qualities or dreams you can make them visual by adding an artistic touch such as creating a vision-board or a selfie. Apart from the benefits listed below, using art in coaching makes the coaching process deeper, more creative and fun.
- Self-discovery: Creating art can help you acknowledge and recognise feelings that have been lurking in your subconscious.
- Self-esteem: The process will give you a feeling of self-accomplishment which can be very valuable to improve your self-appreciation and confidence.
- Emotional release: It is giving you a healthy outlet for expressing and letting go all your feelings and fears. When you are unable to express yourself, but you desire emotional release, making art may help you to do it.
- Stress relief: Creating art can be used to relieve stress and relax your mind and body.
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