What Is Art Therapy

Engaging in creative activities is simply engaging in free self-expression. That can be done through a variety or artistic and self expressive activities such as painting, creative writing, acting, singing, creating music etc. That allows you mind to express the emotions you might be suppressing, improves you mental and physical health as well as your emotional awareness and intelligence. Psychologists refer to this as art therapy.

Creating, performing and enjoying art can be a very rewarding experience. Art therapy is in a way a form of mediation. The process that happens when you express yourself instinctively and freely is gaining awareness of your innate state, accepting your emotions and moving on without identifying with them too much.

So how do you do this?

Engaging in art therapy by yourself is easy and natural, even if it might bring unpleasant emotions. At the end of the day the point of art therapy is to face and process your emotions, not to focus only on the pleasant ones. Pick up an artistic activity that you feel yourself familiar with. You don’t to be a talented professional artist (or even amateur) to do this. Every person has the potential to be self-expressive and artistic. If you are comfortable with sharing and publishing your art that is fine. If you are not that is fine too.

Visual Art

Find a piece of paper and start drawing. Don’t try to plan your drawing, simply let your imagination and instincts lead you and don’t worry about the results of your drawing. Your imagination in a way gives you a glimpse of your subconscious mind the images that exist there.


Creative writing can also help you express yourself in a linguistic way. It can also improve your ability to verbalize your emotions and experiences, to identify them and regulate them more effectively in the future.


Try to create a character in your mind and express your emotions through that characters. That allows you to dissociate yourself from that character and not identify with the negative emotions that are expressed through that character. Acting also helps you to express your feelings without the obstacles that your ego puts on you.

See also: 5 Movies to Watch When You Have an Existential Crisis


Remember, in order to process your emotions you have to be aware of them first. Simply listening to music can help you recognize a lot of emotions that you are not consciously aware of so you can gain awareness and power over them. If you have musical talent, you can even try to compose a song and write some lyrics.

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