Arts (or creative) therapies involve using the arts in a therapeutic environment with a trained therapist. The different types of regulated of arts therapies include dance movement therapy, drama therapy, music therapy, visual art therapy.
You do not need to have any artistic skill or previous experience of dance, drama, music or visual art to find arts therapies helpful. The aim isn't to produce a great work of art, but to use what you create to understand yourself better.
In arts therapy, your therapist helps you to create something — such as a piece of music, a drawing, a play or a dance routine — as a way of expressing your feelings, often without using words.
[It] helps me when I struggle to find the words when I'm too angry, despairing or confused to know what I think. It gives me a voice.
Your therapist will guide you in thinking about what you have created and how it relates to your feelings and experiences. This can help you come to terms with any difficult feelings, events or memories that may be causing you problems.
Like all therapies, arts therapies aren't for everyone. And you may find that one kind of art therapy is more helpful than others. It's about finding what works best for you.
Download the PDF