The idea of art therapy is nothing new. For thousands of years, art has been a major tool in communication and, in more recent years, that tool has been utilized by doctors, psychologists, and therapists as a means of helping people cope with emotional, physical, and mental traumas.
Art allows people to communicate on the most basic level by using their feelings and emotions instead of complicating communication with words. While it may seem quite obvious how art can help people cope with unexpressed feelings through artistic expression, there are many levels in which art can alleviate stress, pain, and trauma.
For example, The Huffington Post recently published an article titled, “One Daughter Is Turning Her Hoarding Parents’ Belongings Into Beautiful Art.” This article speaks about the emotional rollercoaster a daughter, Stephanie Calvert, faced while living with her hoarding parents in her family’s schoolhouse.
It wasn’t until recently, when Calvert was told her mother was facing death after a bicycle accident, that she began to face her internalized emotions from her childhood.
She returned back to the schoolhouse and dealt with the shame she had felt her whole life because of her parents lifestyle, faced the emotions she had been presented with with the news of her mother’s accident, and tackled the stress of handling the schoolhouse filled with belongings her parents have hoarded for her entire life.
Through manipulating those belongings into beautiful pieces of art, Calvert found peace with unresolved aspects of her past, created beautiful pieces of art for her mother and father with items that held many memories for them, and got to participate in the therapeutic action of creating in general.
Creating beautiful pieces of art helped Calvert to cope with her past, present, and her future… How many prescription drugs can say they have the same healing outcome?
So next time you’re feeling down, need to relieve some stress, or face a difficult emotion… Create. Make. Build. Express yourself through art and you will find peace.
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