According to a recent report, many people underestimate the effect of creativity— that is until they discover the power of art therapy. Dena Barnes, a marriage and family therapist, shares her experiences using art therapy with her patients.

Two Kinds of Treatment

As a licensed marriage and family therapist, Dena Barnes knows the value of traditional talk therapy. She recognises the important of words, putting a voice to thoughts and feelings. However, she also knows that some of her patients arrive in her office unready or unable to voice their thoughts. Some try to say what they think she wants to hear, concealing their true trauma or impulses.

That’s where art therapy comes in. Barnes is also a licensed art therapist, and she uses art therapy as a tool to help her patients express who they are. “Art is an expression of someone’s heart,” she explains. “I think the beautiful part about art is when we look at someone’s art and they’ve expressed themselves in it – that’s what draws us to it.”

The Value of Therapy for Traumatised Patients

Barnes has discovered that art therapy is particularly effective for people who have been through serious trauma. If they aren’t ready to tell the tale in their own words, making art can help loosen the anxiety, letting the words come.

“It externalizes some of the issues,” Barnes says. “That’s why it’s so helpful with trauma because sometimes trauma is so hard for people to talk about. But when they put it out here in front of them, they can tell the story a lot easier.”

Creativity and Self-Expression

Since Barnes is an artist, this form of therapy comes easily to her. She used to journal, draw, and make art as a child, and she attributes some of her skills in this area to the influence of her mother, who was artistic as well.

However, Barnes is quick to emphasise that anyone can participate in art therapy and enjoy it. The point is not necessarily to create something beautiful; it’s about the process of creating something new and gaining insight into yourself.

Art Therapy in Singapore

Like Dena Barnes, a number of Singapore psychiatrists see the value in art therapy. At Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic, we practice art therapy, along with a variety of other treatments. Art therapy is helpful for people at any time of life, whether they are children, teens, adults, or seniors.

If you’re ready to get help for some symptoms resulting from trauma, or for an addiction or compulsion, make an appointment to visit our mental health clinic in Singapore. One of our expert psychiatrists will meet with you and talk with you; and afterwards he or she will suggest some forms of therapy and treatment that may be helpful. With art therapy, you may gain unique insight into yourself and your mental health, enabling you to heal and move forward.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: Bakersfield, 26 August 2017