The many impacts of disability will include stress, trauma, challenges in social skills or battling with emotional problems, and many more…art therapy also known as expressive therapy is one of the therapeutic tools commonly used in the disability sector. It is not age-specific which means it can cater to all age groups. It can create a positive impact in many ways on the individual as it promotes healing by giving the individual the opportunity to express and reveal his/her deepest thoughts and feelings through arts. It is a proven method used by psychologists wherein the approach is tailored to fit according to the individual’s needs or areas to focus on.
Who can greatly benefit art therapy?
· Those with learning difficulties
· Those with chronic illness
· Those with mental health problems
· Those on the autistic spectrum
· Those who experience challenges in terms of communicating and expressing one’s feelings
Allow us to mention the many benefits of art therapy for people living with a disability:
· Helps improve self -management
· Helps provide a creative outlet
· Helps provide safe space
· Helps reduce the symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, and fatigue
· Boosts mood
· Helps restore the chemical imbalance
· Helps address trauma
· Helps build self -esteem
· Helps give self-awareness
· Creates positive distraction
· Good for the brain
· Promoted meditative peace
There are different types of art therapy, to name some :
· Painting-therapist may help the individual to express oneself by prompting some exercises
· Sculpting-since emotions are not purely limited to flat angles, sculpting can be a very good way of expressing one’s deepest thought or emotions as it provides an opportunity for the individual to express in a 3D form
· Collages-this technique allows the individual to use pictures/ images to express oneself. So instead of being limited to paper, pen, or canvas, the individual will have the opportunity to use and choose different pictures to express or communicate
· Writing-Journaling is the most common technique used wherein the therapist will ask the participant to start his/her own day to day journal
· Photography-can be used to help work through emotions, individuals are tasked to take photos or use them that represent their memories
Another interesting fact about art therapy is that it is beneficial for the brain, thus reducing the symptoms and disease progression of some degenerative diseases.
Art therapy and the NDIS
Art therapy is provided by an allied health service but if you have individual therapeutic support or group therapy support funding, you may opt to use that funding for art therapy.
Art therapy is a uniquely artistic way of unlocking and expressing one’s suppressed emotions. So the next time you feel a little under the weather or you are suffering from a mental health illness or you just simply want a safe space where you can freely express yourself, talk to your LAC or support coordinator, and discuss the things you need to do to have art therapy included in your plan.
Do you have an NDIS plan and in need of an art therapist/s? Get Plan Managed with Yogi Care and access NDIS registered and non-registered service providers.