7 Simple Therapeutic Art Activities To Try At Home
Art therapy is a powerful practice that can help us express, process, and reflect on our emotions we may be struggling to understand or talk about with others. Art therapy has been shown to benefit people of all ages. Research indicates art therapy can improve communication and concentration and can help reduce feelings of isolation. This type of therapy has also been shown to lead to increases in self-esteem, confidence, and self-awareness.
"The American Art Therapy Association describes its main functions as improving cognitive and sensorimotor functions, fostering self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivating emotional resilience, promoting insight, enhancing social skills, reducing and resolving conflicts and distress, and promoting societal and ecological changes."(American Art Therapy Association, 2018)
Positive results in art therapy may often be achieved by those facing issues such as:
Attention deficit hyperactivity
Aging and geriatric issues
Other eating disorders
Family or relationship issues
If you are struggling with any of the above issues, I highly recommend researching for a professional Art Therapist in your local town for support and guidance.
Here are 7 Simple Therapeutic Art Activities to try at home:
Create a meditative art piece
Sit in silence for five minutes and observe any feelings you have. Can you feel something in a specific part of your body? How does it feel? Create an image of it. Allow your hands to make marks freely on the paper. Imagine being a child at play. Spend 20 minutes on this image. Journal your experience.
Create an image of the current feelings in your heart.
Choose a range of colors and link them to what feelings you feel they represent. Now use them to create an image of your heart, paying attention to which colors are more dominant. Reflect on the thoughts and feelings you had while creating the image.
Create a 'Thank You' card for yourself.
What message will you write inside? What things would you like to thank yourself for? What images, colors, or memories come to mind when you think of these things? When you have finished, place the card in an envelope and post it to yourself! (Or just place it somewhere in your home you can see it often)
If this word was a color, what would it be right now? What shape would it be? Would it be big? Small? When was the last time you felt this feeling? What was the cause?
Journal Tip: Think about the first feeling you felt when you saw this word on your screen. Reflect on that feeling as well as the color and shape you choose.
Draw in total darkness
Create an artwork in total darkness. Think of it as a form of blind contour drawing. Create lines, shapes and patterns. Journal what the experience was like when you turn the lights back on: What shapes did you draw? Did you feel frustrated or calm? Can you recognize any images in the shapes and lines? What do they remind you of?
Create old from new
Have you got any old clothes or other items that you are planning to throw away? Create a sculpture or another craft piece using these items. Make a patchwork painting using bits of material from old clothes. Journal your experience.
Design a postcard that you would send to a family member or friend. What country would you be sending it from? What is the weather like in this country? Who are you sending it to? What message would you write on the postcard?
“Imagination is tapping into the subconscious in a form of open play. That is why art or music therapy, which encourages a person to take up brushes and paint or an instrument, and just express themselves, is so powerful.” ~ Phil 'Philosofree' Cheney