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Art Therapy


The term ‘art therapy’ was composed by Adrian Hill, British artists who came across the healing benefits of drawing, coloring, and painting while fighting tuberculosis. Art therapy is a creative way to manage psychological issues; improve mental wellbeing through different techniques such as coloring, painting, collaging, drawing and sculpting, etc. Experts have observed that patients often express themselves through art which has eventually led to viewing art as a form of therapeutic healing. Moreover, viewing art or creating art is linked with assisting people to understand their emotions, cope with stress, work on their social skills, enhance self-esteem, and explore the themes that affect their emotions.


This type of therapy focuses on improving mental health and targets the mind of the person. Art therapy is applied on children, adults, and old age people for treating anxiety, depression, emotional trauma, abuse, and improving social skills.

  • It is beneficial as studies have shown that in adult trauma patients, art therapy was able to decrease symptoms of depression and helped cope with trauma (Regev & Cohen-Yatziv, 2018).

  • Another study demonstrated how old-aged people were able to boost self-esteem and reduce the effects of depression through art therapy (Ching-Teng, Ya-Ping, & Yu-Chia, 2019).

  • Art therapy has a positive impact on children with special needs as it is a form of the way for them to express their emotions and thoughts (Cohen-Yatziv & Regev, 2019).

  • Art therapy has reduced severe anxiety in women aged 18-65 by improving their self- value (Abbing, De Sonneville, Baars, Bourne, & Swaab, 2019).


In US art therapy is commonly used, with 5000 art therapist registered with American Art Therapy Association , 90% of the female are art therapists and 10% male are art therapists (Art therapist demographics in the United States, 2017). Whereas in UK, there are 1600 art therapists registered with British Association of Art Therapists (Job guide - Art therapist).


  • Successful art therapy courses are:-

  • Client-Therapist Relationships

  • Art Based Clinical Assessment

  • Working With Children

  • Group Counselling

  • Process and Theory

  • Methodologies

  • Group Dynamics

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Ashna is a contributor and research assistant at dR CLB Lab

She is a final year student of BS International Relations at National Defence University, Pakistan.She is a versatile content writer proficient in researching, writing, and editing diverse content. A dedicated researcher familiar with current affairs, cyberwarfare, space terrorism, gender politics, and international politics. Research Intern with 2 years working for think tanks. Flexible and poised promoting well-developed skills in research and analysis. She is also a research assistant with The Global Foundation of Cyber Studies & Research Washington DC Think Tank.


Ching-Teng, Y., Ya-Ping, Y., & Yu-Chia, C. (2019). Positive effects of art therapy on depression and self-esteem of older adults in nursing homes. Social Work in Health Care, 58(3), 324-338. doi:10.1080/00981389.2018.1564108

Cohen-Yatziv, L., & Regev, D. (2019). The effectiveness and contribution of art therapy work with children in 2018 -what progress has been made so far? A systematic review. International Journal of Art Therapy, 24(3), 100-112. doi:10.1080/17454832.2019.1574845

Regev, D., & Cohen-Yatziv, L. (2018). Effectiveness of art therapy with adult clients in 2018—What progress has been made? Frontiers in Psychology, 9. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01531

Abbing, A., De Sonneville, L., Baars, E., Bourne, D., & Swaab, H. (2019). Anxiety reduction through art therapy in women. Exploring stress regulation and executive functioning as underlying neurocognitive mechanisms. PLOS ONE, 14(12), e0225200. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0225200

Art therapist demographics in the United States [Web log post]. (2017, April 11). Retrieved from

Job guide - Art therapist. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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