Effectiveness Of Art Therapy

Learn more about art therapy. We will discuss the effectiveness of art therapy in relation to mental and emotional health.

Learn the benefits of art therapy.

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Learn more about the effectiveness of the creative process

With the effectiveness of art therapy, I find art therapy exciting and comfortable to express how I feel. It is capable of promoting a sense of self-sufficiency. Art therapy gives freedom from all of the world’s heaviness.

Depression and anxiety are common mental illnesses that we all might experience. It is the conditions that we understand can eventually make our lives miserable. In some unfortunate events, it can even make us forget our purpose in life and entirely take control of our decisions and actions. We all have our various methods of coping with any kind of mental illness, and some, find the effectiveness of art therapy important. Art therapy has been shown to benefit people of all ages. Research indicates the effectiveness of art therapy as it can improve communication and concentration and can help reduce feelings of isolation. This type of therapy has also been shown to lead to increases in self-esteem, confidence, and self-awareness.


False Impression On The Impact Of Arts

The effectiveness of art can bring a lot of confusion and different reactions to specific individuals. That’s because some of them are entirely not into making art and some are stuck in the idea that they are not creative or talented enough for it. It is also possible that others have had a negative experience with art in the past. That explains why we know someone who hasn’t made a single art piece since their elementary days.

People’s Use of Art In Daily Living And Counseling

Yes, there are also those people who do not get interested in the art because they think of it as a waste of time, an invaluable habit, expensive, or something that doesn’t need attention. But I certainly assure you that people will not need confidence or any artistic skills to try and learn the therapy. There is no wrong way of making art or going into art therapy. I believe that anyone can participate in creating one. As Elena Lamaak, MA, LMHC explains it, “The art therapy *process* itself is where the magic happens! It is not about making “good” art — this art is from the inside and it is not always going to look “pretty.” Art therapy is more about feeling good. The effectivity of art therapy is measured by how well one improves through art therapy.

A woman focused on drawing

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So What Exactly Is Creative Therapy?

For clarification, art therapy is NOT an instructional art class. There’s no teaching someone how to make or create art. Its goal is entirely different. It’s not an activity that attempts to master a particular artistic skill. It helps in knowing different types of media and supplies though. The therapy encourages people to experiment and play with art materials. They can create whatever they want based on their perception about life, their current mood, their suppressed emotion, or anything they think of at the present time. Art therapy permits freedom – art therapy allows expression. Loss of control is a common side effect of addiction. People may place getting high over personal and career obligations. This causes them to struggle to balance their substance use problem with normal life activities. Art therapy is effective in helping the person learn how to focus, build discipline, and live a healthy life.

Art therapy is a modality that caters to mental health through creating art accompanied by professional counseling therapists. ” Art therapy can help improve various mental and physical symptoms including, but not limited to, reducing pain, anxiety, and tension. It can be beneficial to those who have mental disorders, severe or light emotional abuse, cancer, post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), people who are bipolar, and a variety of other serious ailments.” Douglas Mitchell, LMFT said.

The process intends to bring together spiritual, emotional, physical, and psychological care by offering creative ways.

It allows patients to respond to their imagination and transfer it to visual representation. It is vital to understand that art therapy is a form of psychological treatment. Since art therapy is effective and therapeutic, art therapy can transcend words, colors, and shape, into a voice or feeling that appears lost for words.

woman painting flowers

Source: pixabay.com

What Do People Love About The Treatment Process?

What To Love About the effects of art therapy? Why do most people love art therapy? One thing that people can love about art therapy is its process of exploring a variety of issues that may come up with a particular mental illness. Since it proves to ease emotional pain and stress, it can release a different perception of experiences often stored in the non-verbal parts of our brain. This is where hundreds of people vouch for the effectiveness of arts therapy. So when we try to create art by focusing on stressful and painful events in our lives, it helps the brain in shifting its gears. From there, we get to process memories and stuck-up thoughts at a deeper level of understanding of how effective is art therapy.

Concept As It Reflects Life

Conclusion On Why You Should Try It

In art therapy, there’s no judging, criticizing, or interpreting an artwork since it is very much effective. Everything about it will base on how we look at the results from the visuals we make.

It’s the reflection of our inner thoughts and how we see our surroundings and life in general. So for me, it’s ideally a way to tell the world that I understand things around me.

This entry was posted in Films.

The Power Of Literature In Changing Views Of Mental Illness

We, our friends, and family read newspaper articles, short stories, and novels. We tend to devour these materials because we want to reach the last page. It is where we usually expect an end game to what we want to know from the beginning. That is why we read. Maybe because we know that the authors seem to try and send us a message or perhaps hoping that their writings can make a positive change because literature is one of the things that can move an audience through the evocation of significant emotions. And these emotions result in indirect actions on the part of us readers.

Many authors have written a lot of entire novels and short stories back in the days. Over the past hundred years, the writings hope to transform society’s perception about the harshness of mental illness as well as the treatment of a particular condition. Truthfully, these authors’ hardships are all worth it. That’s because we are now in a progressive state where we move human rights. That’s through the power of the authors’ narratives and educational literature, their insights of the characterization of mentally ill people, and their stance on patients and asylums maltreatment. Learn more about the writers’ and patients’ journey and condition through Betterhelp.

Source: wikimedia.org

The Progression Of Mental Illness Over Time

In the old European years, mentally ill individuals are allowed to go free provided they are not dangerous to other lives. With this, these individuals receive less treatment as people see them as abnormal individuals. Sometimes, people assume them to be witches that are potentially able to be inhabited by demons. In the same year, the establishment of mental illness pushes Europeans to isolate those individuals with psychological problems. Mentally ill people are forced to stay in a house with disabled people, delinquents, and vagrants. As for those individuals that people consider insane, they suffer from inhumane treatment often kept in a dungeon and chained to walls. These are quite unfortunate for people who feel misunderstood.

A different approach to mentally ill people happened after the French revolution. That is when a few activists forbid patients mistreatment. From there, they went in against organizations and took over some asylums. Though some of them convinced others to create a different view on treating psychological conditions, the abuse continues in the majority of institutions. That’s the reason why in the late centuries, most state mental hospitals became custodial due to overcrowdedness.

“Reading, doing challenging puzzles such as crosswords or Sudoku, debating issues with others who have opposing viewpoints, learning a new language or musical instrument, trying a new hobby, or teaching and tutoring others are all ways to maintain or improve your intellectual wellness.” –Marjie L. Roddick, MA, NCC, LMHC

The Writings

10 Days In A Mad House (1887) – Nellie Bly, a New York reporter, posed as one of the mentally ill people and asked to enter an asylum and become an inmate. She hopes to see what’s inside the parameters of the mental hospital. Her curiosity made her discover hundreds of mistreatments and inappropriate things inside the asylum. So after the release of her novel, the city of New York came to realize the importance of rehabilitation and support. From there, the city appropriated more than a million dollar annually to provide care for the insane.

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The Yellow Wallpaper (1892) – Originally written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, this novel received high regard of becoming one of America’s early feminist literature. It illustrates the practices and attitudes of people in the 19th century towards women’s physical and mental health. The story in the novel depicts the narrator’s mental condition where it descent into psychosis. In the novel, she becomes obsessed with the color and pattern of the wallpaper. Gilman explained that the story in the book originated in her experience as a depressed patient. After realizing how close she is from having a mental breakdown, she wrote the novel with an illustrated exaggeration resulting from her misdiagnosis complaint. It became a battle of obsession and reality acceptance for her.

“Misinformation about mental illness shames and discriminates those suffering with depression from getting professional help.” –Deborah Serani, PsyD

The Bell Jar (1963) – Sylvia Plath, wrote an honest depiction of mental health issue through the life of a woman named Esther. The Bell Jar is an excellent representation of mountains of illnesses that descents people’s mind and impedes their capacity to live their lives fully. Though most readers see the terminologies in the novel leaves people clueless due to lack of understanding, the terms somehow become comparable to the American Psychological Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. The APA DSM provides consistent terminology, but there are still unmentioned cases that receive misunderstanding. With this infancy of development, Esther never receives a specific diagnosis. As for Sylvia Plath, she also has a mental illness that pushed her to commit suicide. But even though she ended her life like that, her brilliance in literature proved the world that psychologically ill people deserve a second chance of living.

Source: flickr.com

According to Dr. Mitch Keil, clinical psychologist “Mental health is complex, and it would be a lot easier if we were like cars.” Mental illness has been an issue for almost hundreds of years now, and only literature first started to picture it as something that we should care addressing. As innovation grows, the cases of these psychological conditions develop as well. If it had not been with the illustration of literature, there’s no way it would create a massive chance of exposure.

This entry was posted in Films.

A Star Is Born: Of Love And Mental Illness

Let me just share through this article my take on the remake of A Star Is Born. The movie, which stars Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, painfully yet genuinely, portrays the heartache brought about by anxiety, depression, and heartache. I think about my own demons that I battle when my anxiety inflicts me. The film is a must-see for everyone. It is an eye opener especially to those who are challenged by a mental illness, and to their loved ones who live and share their lives with them as well.

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A Short Summary

Bradley Cooper, who plays the addict in the movie, appropriately represents his role as someone who is struggling to cope with the pains of his childhood trauma. He attempts to cure this through self-medication. Here, Bradley shows that an alcoholic/addict can be a kind and wonderful person who is full of talent and character. Anyone, even a mentally ill individual, can be a rock star, as it doesn’t really matter if you’re mentally healthy or not. You can be anyone you want to be.

“A stressful change in life patterns can trigger a depressive episode. Such stressful events may include a serious loss, a difficult relationship, trauma, or financial problems.” –Ben Martin, Psy.D.

Lady Gaga’s role as Ally here in the movie also reflects on the love and sacrifices that family and significant others should show for their mentally ill loved one. When Ally cancels her tour to take care of Jackson (Bradley), she is the perfect epitome of someone who gives up everything to see her loved one recover. Her sorrow, including those of Jackson’s brother, father, and friends, is authentic proof and consequence of mental illness and addiction. As Jessica Harris, LCPC, LPC notes, “Everyone handles positive and negative stress differently. And yes, for some, positive stress can lead to a negative response to stress, depending on the situation.” But Ally tends to work on it differently.


Source: news.abs-cbn.com


The Ending Can Be Different For You

In the end, Jackson lost his battle with mental illness despite the beautiful person that he was – and it was no one’s fault because it was his choice. This part of the movie where Jackson’s brother consoles Ally and tells her it’s not her fault conveys a message to all loved ones and significant others that no matter how much love and care and sacrifice you share to the afflicted individual, in the end, it is his battle.

For those who are suffering from mental illness, suicide – which Jackson did in the movie – is not at all the ending for you. You can make it your choice not to.

“Mental health struggles are real. They can be painful. You may feel alone. In some of the darkest times, you may feel like something is “wrong” with you to the core. ” –Erica Thompson, LMFT, LPCC

There Is Help

This is the good news. There is help, and when I say help, it means the real sense of the word. I have been dealing with my anxiety and depression for years now, but not alone. I am going through life with my family, whom I share how I feel, my friends, and my therapist, who has been one of the strongest support networks that I’ve had. Yes, it might be cliché, but YOU ARE NOT ALONE.


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Films like A Star Is Born are worth remaking, with the way they have sent waves of support and inspiration for people who feel that they are suffering from the stigma of being mentally ill. The downward spiral that you and I feel can be eliminated if we just reach out and ask for help because it is abundant. And for those we love and who love us, continue to do so. Be with us as we reframe our way of thinking. Encourage us to be positive. Let us journey together through life with joy, happiness, and success.



This entry was posted in Films.

An Everyday Life Struggle (What Depression Means To Me)

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Depression is something that I can’t control. It quietly creeps upon me. I struggle with it for a little in the beginning, but it continues to grow as I usually choose to ignore it. I tell myself that it is going to be temporary and then assume that it will pass. I keep repeating in my thoughts that it is just a bad day and I’m only having a rough time. However, those things are not enough, and I am stuck in this state of mind.

“Depression is real and painful. Just because you can’t see or touch it doesn’t make it any less real.” –Charmaine J. Simmons, LPC

I get used to putting a social mask and pretend that things are okay. I continue to live among other people because I know for sure that’s what I have to do. Perhaps, that’s what others do too. However, pain and struggle don’t come off that way. When I stand in line, I always think about how everything I do can be so wrong. Places, people, and uncontrolled circumstances paralyze me. Every time I play along with life, the emotional and psychological pain continues to grow more and more. I fall even deeper into the mental condition, and I slowly step back away from what life has to offer.

The Struggle

“We all experience these ups and downs, and most of the time we get through the downs and move on to better times. But for many of us certain situations at can trigger an episode of depression and make us feel a hopelessness that won’t go away.” Dr. Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC said. The mental condition won’t stop hurting me. As a result, I try to move away from people, friends, and family. Sometimes, I completely shut them down because I don’t think they can be any of help. I continue to destroy relationships. I hate crowds, I hate people, and I hate myself.  I overthink, and sadly, all my satisfaction is gone. The little things that used to bring me joy are now insignificant. Sometimes, even the most straightforward task becomes so complicated that I can’t even convince myself to start doing any of it. I want to stop trying because I know nothing will make me happy anyway.

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All the things about life make me feel worse and lonely. I believe I am caught up in a cycle where there’s no hope and escape. Suddenly, I notice that life is moving in slow motion and days become so indistinguishable. I can only feel heaviness; I can hear white noise, and I can’t see anything aside from the deep hollow space I’m in. There’s a lack of purpose and low self-esteem that hinders me from getting up. There is a big part of me that wants things to be better. I want to get a positive upsurge that helps me want to go out and meet new people. But all of that positivity is short-lived because depression somehow won’t allow me to feel better. In the end, I choose to stay by my side, alone in my comfort zone where no one asks questions if I’m okay.

I don’t want to stay in this mental and emotional drain forever, but it’s not like I can just quit and choose not to have depression. So I have to realize that I can’t go on without thinking about two things. Either I decide to get some help, or I attempt to commit suicide. I want to know what happens when I stop getting scared of being scared. I don’t want people’s judgment, and I don’t need their insults. I only wish to get better.

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Deborah Serani, PsyD says, “Depression is not a weakness of character, laziness, or a phase. Tough love, like telling someone to ‘buck up’ or ‘try harder,’ doesn’t work, and worsens the illness.” Life is never easy for me, and I know that some people who share the same mental condition with me also feel the same. Pretty much no one knows how depression feels like unless it’s on their shoe. I do not wish everyone to experience it, but the way to properly understand what it is and what it can do to someone is by experiencing it on your own.

This entry was posted in Films.

Three Top Picks On Robin Williams’ Films

Robin Williams was a famous comedian of his time. We grow up watching his films every Friday night over roasted marshmallows, popcorns, sparkling sodas, and lots and lots of junk foods! Well, I’m not going to talk about our family time in this article; instead, this will be a tribute to the actor that inspired me through his work of art, notwithstanding his life behind the tinsel town and his famous personality that eventually ended his life in 2014.


source: factinate.com

Robin Williams started to make movies in 1977 but his famous role in Good Morning, Vietnam as a radio announcer catapulted his success both in films and television. His comical acting skills and his renowned voice variations are his trademarks in Hollywood. I never really watched all of his movies, only the recent and popular ones, but reviewing his filmography over the internet, he starred in almost all variety of movie genre – suspense thriller, family themed, animation, musical, fantasy, futuristic, war, love story, and many more. He also appeared in many television shows and sitcoms like Mork and Mindy and The Crazy Ones.

My Favorite Picks

I like to watch Robin Williams in a movie that offers inspiration and laden with words to live by quotes. His films are always a good-feel movie for me where it gives me some push to work on my life whenever I feel down and hopeless. Below are my top three choices.

  1.    Dead Poets Society – he played as an English teacher in this film, and he encouraged a group of young boys to love poetry and live life outside the box. Following your dream and live life following what you believe is your destiny was his principle. The school administration had noticed his eccentric teaching skills and the effect he has on his students, especially when one committed suicide because of conflict between the child’s passion and his parents’ dream (read more about it here: babble.com).
  2.    Patch Adams – The movie was a life story of a suicidal person who voluntarily committed himself in a mental institution to find help. His stay and experience prompted him to go to medical school and become a doctor to change the relationship between the doctor and the patient to effective treatments and cure. The film had psychological bearings in it when Patch Adams lost the love of his life, and he also lost hope in his dreams and ambition. Nonetheless, the many lives he cared for helped him in this toughest time.
  3.    The Bird Cage – A hilarious yet inspiring movie between a gay couple and their son who understands their present situation. As their son is planning to get married and will be introducing his fiancée and parents to them, the crisis emerged as the girl’s parents are strict and upholds morality issue to the core. The movie supports Evan Kimble, LMHC‘s statement; “In order to figure out what they value, many teens actively reject their parents and their parent’s values.” This film speaks about acceptance in any family structure and how parents should provide love and care to their child

Dementia and Suicide

When Robin Williams committed suicide, everyone thought that he has clinical depression. That put a significant marked on the relationship of stardom, being funny as an escape from the actual internal feelings to a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness. However, Williams’ widow corrected and strongly believed that he did not die of depression. This was supported by an autopsy report that came in several weeks later, and it was found out that the loved actor has early signs of dementia. Robin Williams was already diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease early on and was showing signs of the condition. As for dementia, his wife confessed that there were some significant manifestations too and if he had not committed suicide, the doctors are giving him three years of functional life before sinking into the complications of full-blown dementia.

“Not all people who have thoughts of suicide end up acting on those thoughts. But for those who do, generally there is deep emotional pain combined with a belief that things will never improve.” –Dr. Chantal Gagnon PhD LMHC

source: scienceofparkinsons.com

To some people, taking one’s own life is a mortal sin. In this case, it can be a rationalization that the actor made a courageous step and it’s an act of love to spare his family from suffering with him. For whatever reasons, and not judging his actions, the man has made lasting impressions to his millions of fans. “If you know someone who is thinking about, talking about or you think may be at risk for suicide don’t ignore them. Often times there is a misconception that people who talk about suicide don’t end up killing themselves, but this is untrue.” Torey C. Richards, LMHC advises.

This entry was posted in Films.

Four Flicks To Lift-Up Your Mood

source: thesun.co.uk

Depression can be debilitating to the point of neglect of self-care activities. “Depression is more than an emotion or a state of mind, it is really a process. It is a combination of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.” Robert Allison, MA, LPC said. While it is normal to feel sad now and then; persistent sadness and feelings of hopelessness would usually warrant professional consultation and help. Many are placed on medications in combination with psychotherapy. Others opt to go all natural by changing their fast-paced lifestyle and choosing for healthier options in their food, hobbies, and habits.

One of the classical symptoms associated with depression is being not motivated to get out bed or do something productive for the day. Deborah Serani, PsyD explains, “Depression is not a weakness of character, laziness, or a phase. Tough love, like telling someone to ‘buck up’ or ‘try harder,’ doesn’t work, and worsens the illness.” Usually, people bum around the house, tinker their social media sites, listen to music or probably do a marathon on movies and television shows; however, as mundane as picking out movies and shows to watch, it might be troublesome for a person with depression. To make life a little easy, here are some of the movie’s suggestions when you need something entertaining to cry, to laugh and to seek answers to life questions.

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This entry was posted in Films.

Depressed And In A Relationship: Helpful Tips

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Love and falling in love are one of the most common themes in movies and literature. The industry involved in weddings, dating, and relationships have billions in profit. It is perfectly fine to assume that everyone is enamored with love. People are willing to spend money and time hopefully to find their match. Falling in love is one of the simple pleasures of life. Isn’t it fascinating to find someone who rejoices simply because you exist? Of course, other than your family and friends.

The experience of true romantic love is enriching but the journey is oftentimes excruciating. For women, they might have kissed a few frogs along the way. For individuals with mental illness, the journey on finding the right person can be intimidating; however, always remember the love knows no boundaries and it’s inclusive of everyone. Mental illness and dating can mix well as long as both partners are willing to compromise. It is best to ponder on these tips to hopefully help you in your relationship. Remember, “Love is the root of what brings each and every one of us to therapy—the need to understand love, the hunger and desperation to find love and experience love, the desire to love and the desire to be loved.” Stacy Donn Cristo, LMHC said.

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This entry was posted in Films.

Top 5 Movies That Talk About Mental Illness

Movies and films can affect the views and opinions of its viewers. These works of art can influence people in so many ways. With millions of motion pictures available in the market, it can get confusing as to which among them you should watch first. The answer to this question is highly dependent on the things you want to find out as well as the current state of your emotions.

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This entry was posted in Films.