Art Therapy – A Form of Anger Management

Jack Prot

Art therapy has long been seen as a form of therapeutic process for emotional disorders and anxiety. Van Gogh kept some of his demons at bay through art. More recently, therapists have reported a high success rate with the use of creative and artistic expression to deal with anger, depression and pain.

Take for example Carla P., who was saved from her 15 year severe depression by art therapy. She claimed that taking the creative artwork sessions saved her life. Although medication provided some relief, it also brought on a 35 pound weight gain that made her feel old and dumpy. Then she started searching for alternate treatment avenues. On the advice of a friend, Carla signed up for an art therapy class, even though she did not believe initially that the session could help her.

She enjoyed the session so much she returned the second week. Within 6 weeks, Carla noticed significant improvement in her sleep. She did not toss and turn as much at night; she also noticed a more positive sense of well being. Little things did not bother her as much because her mind was absorbed by planning her next art project.

She reported feeling optimistic. In fact, she felt so good she started walking every morning before work and within three months, lost 10 lbs. Her doctor was so pleased with her progress he reduced the dosage of her medication.

Carla is now convinced that her painting sessions helped her cope with an immeasurable sense of anger that had haunted her for 20 years. Claiming that the sessions changed her pattern of negative thinking, she called art therapy a form of anger management class.
She is right.

In the book, “Art Therapy and Anger,” contributor Art Psychotherapist Leila Moules describes the success she had working with ODD children using art. She uses art to help these children “look within,” so they can gain some control over their behavior problems. Essentially, her therapeutic process is a tool kit to help them repair their anger.

A study published in the “Journal of Pain and Symptom Management” also shows that creative expression reduces symptoms related to fear and anxiety in cancer patients.

Researchers discovered that the creative process involved in making art is a transformational tool. Art can both heal and enhance life. Studies confirm that art therapy minimizes symptoms of anxiety and fear because creative play provides a form of distraction that takes children away from their anxiety.

Art projects get them to focus on something positive, unrelated to their emotional circumstances, yet somehow benefiting their emotional health in the long run. Art allows children to exercise some measure of control over what they do, which can help them restore control over their own impulsive behavior.

Whether it is clay or paint they are working on, the art project confirms children’s sense of control and engagement.

Art Therapy is another effective tool for anger management that can well supplement or replace the use of medication.

Next Post

How To Put An End To Procrastination

You can end procrastination if you set up a plan to do it. If you keep these following steps in mind before you get started on any project, you’ll be able to stop procrastination before it even gets a foothold. Change Your Perception Often when you think of the end […]

You May Like

Subscribe US Now