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Art as a Therapy

Art has been ingrained in mankind throughout centuries if not millenniums as a medium for expression and cultural understanding. Dating back from the Paleolithic era cave drawing as a representative of their daily life, to the Renaissance art period which depicts political stability of an empire, new scientific discovery and flourishing of art techniques and finally, which leads us to today, the more contextual and relatable abstract art and pop art which applies in our industry such as advertisement and modern art. Currently today, art has no limits and practiced by individuals to express oneself. Undeniably, art has prevail in every successful history told by mankind. Everyone can be part of Art.

Paleolithic cave painting bison, Altamira cave, Cantabria, Spain. Painted 20,000 years ago.

Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo da Vinci, Florence, Italy, between 1503-1519.

The Orangutan House, Malaysia, Malacca, painted by Charles Cham in 1992.

What is Art Therapy?

In this modern era, art has been use as a medium of expression and communicating hence, it can be applied in our daily life. What is Art Therapy? Art Therapy is an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psycho-therapeutic relationship. It approaches using art media as its primary source for facilitating communication. It can help individual especially young children to develop self-confidence and social skills. Some common techniques applied in art therapy include drawing, painting, colouring, sculpting and many more.

Applications of Art Therapy;

Try This At Home!

What’s in Your Heart?

This simple and very quick home activity is for children to try to express their emotions and understand what they care about creating a helpful insight of their visual representations of things they value.

You will need:

  • A paper with a heart drawn on it

  • Any form of colours, pen, pencil, crayon, paint, glitters

Step by Step;

1) Give them some time to visualize by asking them to think what make their heart happy. What they like that make them feel good? Words to describe such things, what colour would it represent? (Example, red for warmth, yellow for excitement, blue for calmness, etc). When will they want to think about these things?

2) Provide them with the heart drawn paper and ask them to fill it up with the happy and good thoughts that there were thinking about. There is no limitation or control in how they fill up the heart. Let them be free as possible expressing their thoughts.

3) Finally, use what they create to try to connect with them asking them why or what made them happy? What they did they draw on it? How can you make them even happier? How often do these happy things happen for them? Use this to connect and understand their feelings and emotion even more.

“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” —Pablo Picasso

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