How Creative Arts Therapies are Redefining Therapy

Nov 7, 2023
Isabella Haywood
How Creative Arts Therapies are Redefining Therapy

Unraveling the Art of Healing

Now, let me share with you a tale not quite as old as time but, indeed, one that can transform lives profoundly. My golden retriever, Max, suffered from extreme anxiety every time fireworks decorated the Sydney sky. It was amid such times that I chanced upon the world of Creative Arts Therapies. Max responded so well to music therapy! It was nothing short of cathartic. As my loyal readers would know, I'm a die-hard proponent of traditional therapy. Still, the transformative power of creative arts therapies—art, music, dance, drama—got me hooked, helping me redefine therapy for my companion. I think it's high time we, as a society, embraced the idea that pain can be healed not just through words and pills, but also via paints, notes, motions and characters.

Shedding Light on the Power of Paint and Throb of Beats

The plot of interest starts with how the magic happens, right? An art therapy session begins with the creation—be it a drawing, a painting, a sculpture. Like snippets of dreams, these creations are raw, unfiltered expressions of the subconscious mind. Importantly, those black or rainbow-colored strokes do not represent a diagnosis but are fragments of the therapy journey itself. Similarly, Music therapists decode the language of rhythm, pitch and tempo, harnessing the universal language of music to heal and uplift. Moving to the beat, literally, Dance-Movement therapists tap into the body's wisdom to transcend conventional therapy's limitations. Stay tuned, as we dive deeper into how the swirling pirouettes and dynamic jumps become a language of their own.

Enter Stage Left- Drama Therapy

Ever felt a hint of catharsis after a hearty sob at a moving play or bewitched by enduring soliloquies of a Shakespearean tragedy? That's drama therapy for you. Drawing upon the inherent therapeutic elements in drama, this approach promotes symptom relief, emotional and physical integration, and personal growth. Intriguingly, it transcends the confines of personal space and weaves into community healing- working wonders with families, teaching communities, and inmate populations.

Children and Creative Arts Therapies- A Match Made in Haven

Compared to adults, children, especially those confronting trauma, face an enormous challenge verbalizing their emotions. Here's where the superheroes of creative arts therapies swoop in. Art, in particular, offers youngsters an invaluable medium to express and cope. Remember, a child's Mona Lisa could contain the key to unlock complex emotions, while Picasso-esque forms might echo sentiments better left unsaid.

The Road to Mainstream Acceptance- Triumphs and Roadblocks

Whilst creative arts therapies amass an impressive success medley, they're not without limitations. Finding a footing in mainstream mental health treatment has been an uphill battle, primarily due to an acute shortage of research validating effectiveness. Additionally, insurance-related hurdles have limited their reach. Despite these roadblocks, the future shines bright. With increasing awareness and evolving perspectives, these therapies are appearing not just as alternatives to traditional therapies, but effective supplements as well.

Re-imagining Therapy

Here's a little something I learned from my cat, Bella- ideologies are like her multicolored patches; the beauty lies in the mix. The same goes for therapy. Armed with creative arts therapies now, we delve deeper into our feelings, channeling vulnerability into a canvas or a rhythm. It's almost like we're painting the Mona Lisa or dancing the Swan Lake within ourselves, isn't it? Perhaps, the moment we're able to understand and accept unconventional methods of healing is when we can truly claim to have redefined therapy.

The Takeaway

If I could have your attention, please, one final time! The ensemble cast of therapists is seemingly expanding - and I'm certain that’s something we can all celebrate. As I bid you adieu, here's a heartening reality to mull over: healing can be as simple as a stroke of brush, strumming of strings, a pirouette, or a thoughtful monologue. The world of therapy has transcended beyond the four walls of traditional practices into the realms of artistry, bringing novel and efficient mechanisms of well-being within our reach. So why not embrace the art and dance our way to healing, one brushstroke at a time!