Creative therapy uses art-based activities, such as music and dance, to help treat emotional and mental health conditions. Any sort of artistic ability is not required for this therapy. Part of creative therapy is helping a person channel their thoughts and emotions through artistic expression. For these reasons, creative therapy may be beneficial for people who have difficulty expressing their feelings verbally.
Once a person has created a piece of art, for example, they can discuss their choices with the therapist. Talking with a therapist about their creation can help the person process how they are feeling. Trained therapists can administer creative therapy to help people experiencing a range of mental, emotional, and physical issues.
Art therapy is used in a variety of settings, including hospitals, wellness centres, clinics, community agencies, education institutions, and private practices.
Benefits of Creative Therapy
- Improve cognitive and sensorimotor functions
- Improve self-esteem
- Develop self-awareness and insight
- Help resolve conflict
- Provide distraction from pain or illness
- Provide relaxation or empowerment
- Help to manage behaviour
- Help to manage stress
- Develop interpersonal skills
Types of Creative Therapy
There are various types of creative therapy that a person may benefit from. Certain creative therapies may be more useful for specific conditions. Listed below are some types of Creative Therapy.
✽ Music Therapy
In music therapy, a trained music therapist uses musical responses to assess a person’s physical and emotional well-being. A music therapy session may involve activities such as musical improvisation, listening to music, song writing and etc.
Music can help a person relax and process emotions. This type of therapy is suitable for all ages but is beneficial especially to those who have:
- Mental health conditions
- Learning, developmental, or physical disabilities
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Substance misuse issues
- Brain injuries
- Acute or chronic pain, including labour-related pain
✽ Dance Therapy
Dance therapy involves the use of movement to enhance a person’s emotional, social, cognitive, and physical well-being. Dance therapists aim to help a person in various sectors such as improving self-esteem, developing communication skills and creating options for dealing with problems. It can also aid in self discovery where one finds out reasons for certain behaviour. This form of therapy can be useful for people who have social, developmental, medical, physical, or psychological issues.
✽ Art Therapy
Art therapy uses various art forms, such as painting, drawing, or sculpting. This form of therapy can help individuals in:
- Exploring their feelings
- Managing their behaviour
- Promoting self-awareness
- Developing social skills
- Reducing their anxiety
- Increasing their self-esteem
An art therapist can look at a piece that a person has created and help them discuss the feelings involved in its creation. The act of creating art can also help soothe and relax a person.
✽ Drama Therapy
The aim of drama therapy is to provide a person with a platform to share their thoughts and feelings. Drama therapy can help a person share their inner experiences through improvisations, theatre games, storytelling and enactment.
Drama therapy can be useful for people of all ages, and it may be particularly beneficial to those who:
- Are recovering from addiction
- Have developmental disabilities
- Have experienced trauma
- Are receiving treatment for behavioural health issues
- Have mental health conditions