Mental Health + Art Therapy

BY: CLAIRE KIM

These days, since having the spare time to indulge in my interests in art, I have spent hours working on a painting that I started this past month. Though sometimes stressful due to the sheer amount of creative freedom that I am given, I find art to be a method of therapy–I can ponder without feeling restricted to calculated, emotional thoughts.

By definition, art therapy is a technique that can include “drawing, painting, coloring, sculpting, or collage. As clients create art, they may analyze what they have made and how it makes them feel. Through exploring their art, people can look for themes and conflicts that may be affecting their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.” Art therapy, to some extent, is a method that individuals can use to relieve their psychological traumas, finding meaning in their work and potentially finding joy.

It’s worth considering the fact that art therapy can be experienced in group settings, in which different individuals can share their work to gain a sense of communal reassurance.

Personally, I’ve seen the merits of art therapy through my hospital experiences alongside my individual art ventures. In engaging with different patients in the waiting room, I often find myself drawing diagrams with patients, solving puzzles, or even crafting unique origami pieces with available tissue paper; it’s during such moments that my patients tell me how happy or scared they feel, becoming vulnerable and thus more comfortable in my presence. From these experiences and that of my own as well, I would affirm the efficacy of art therapy in reducing psychological troubles.

Below is the current status of my painting!

Cherry, Kendra. “How Does Art Therapy Work for Patients?” Verywell Mind, 11 May 2020,

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