Art as Therapy


I have always been curious about art therapy and have wanted to take the course,  but haven’t had the opportunity to do so to date.

Today I lwas in my favorite section of Narnes n Nobles ( the psychology area)… “im such a clinician” and came across a very interesting book.  It is written by by alain De Botton and John Armstrong, and  titlesd “Art as Therapy.”
This book had great illustrations and  spoke about famous pieces and the effects it can have on us in the sense of our moods and emotions.

The book discusses a new method of interpreting art as a form of therapy and provides what the authors view as solutions to some of life’s problems.

What I want to share with you, is what they identified as 7 psychological frailties that art can help with and therefore 7 functions for art. All the information provided,  was taken directly from the book. None is based on my opinions.

1- Remembering...Because our minds are  liable to loose important information,  art can be used to preserve experiences..

2- Hope …These pieces do not suggest denial of all the bad things happening in the world. They put us in touch with the care-free side ourselves, so we can better cope.

3-Sorrow… Art can teach us how to suffer sucessfully. Pieces that does not suggest that you deny your troubles or, “cheer up”  but tells us that sorrow is written into the contract of life.

4 -Rebalancing…few of us are well balanced. We can sometimes be too insecure, too complacent or too trusting. Art can put us in touch with concentrated doses of of our missing disposition and restore a measure of equilibrium to our listing inner selves.

5 – Self-understanding…we are not transparent to ourselves.  We have intuitions suspicions,  hunches etc. We have moods but don’t know them.  Some works of art can help us latch on to something we have felt but never recognized before.

6 – Growth..some pieces of art can cause us to feel discomfort, fear, boredom or all of the above. Art can trigger defensive behaviors  in us. Engagement with art is useful because it presents us with powerful examples that provokes defensive boredom and fear and allows us time and privacy to learn and deal more.

7 Appreciation- one of the major causes of our unhappiness, is that we find it hard to take note of what is always around. We suffer because we lose sight of the value of what is around us and yearn, often unfairly,  for the imagined attractions of elsewhere.  Art can lead us back to what is valuable, by working against habit and inviting us to recalibrate what we admire and love.

There was so much more in depth information than what i have shared with you here. If you get the opportunity to stop in Barnes n Nobles or at the library, this is a book well worth sifting through.
Number 7 was mu favorite and i found # 6 to be thoughy provoking.

What are your thoughts both on this information or about art therapy. Do share and don’t forget to check the box to be informed when someone response to your comment.


One thought on “Art as Therapy

  1. raya Robinson

    I must say that I do enjoy to view art but think I enjoy more making are. A few weeks ago the children and I purchase some canvases and paint and we created ourown artwork. For me it was very relaxing, for them it is now a memory some time that we spent together. So I agree with you both viewing and creating art is very therapeutic.

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