Art therapy

What is it?

A way of using visual art to express feelings. An art therapist helps you explore the images you have created to encourage understanding of your emotions and concerns.

Why use it?

You can work through issues that surface from your art. Other benefits include solving problems, improved mood and stress reduction.

What to expect?

Art therapy may be done individually or in groups – some hospitals run programs. You do not need artistic talent to participate or benefit – the emphasis is on the process of producing artwork, not the end result. Your art may be created any way: drawing, painting, collage, sculpture or digital work. You will have an opportunity to discuss the work with the therapist – either the process of producing it or what the end result means to you.

What is the evidence?

Clinical studies have shown that art therapy leads to improvements in symptoms of fatigue. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it improves coping skills, emotional wellbeing and quality of life.

     − Ray (prostate cancer)

This information was last reviewed in May 2015
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