Art Therapy Vs. Colouring

Thanks to the recent influx of adult colouring books onto bookstore and craft store shelves, people have become more aware of the relaxing influence of art. However, experts stress the fact that colouring is not art therapy. Discover more about the distinction between colouring and what is true art therapy.

A Difference in Design

Colouring isn’t art therapy, partly because of the format or process. With colouring, the person is using another individual’s designs and simply adding the colours. With real art therapy in Singapore, the person is encouraged to create his or her own designs. Those designs or shapes activate the creative centres of the brain in a different way.

Beyond Stress Relief

By creating something from nothing on a blank page, with clay, or via other media, the artist gains a sense of freedom and release. Often, the creative act helps to unlock pent-up emotions or relieve stress. Although colouring also has value for stress relief, it doesn’t seem to have the same effect as the truly creative acts that take place in an art therapy session.

The Act of Creation

According to an article in Psychology Today, “any form of psychotherapy or counseling goes well beyond grounding and relaxation; effective expressive arts therapy helps to expand our awareness and become mindful of both body and mind.” There’s an aspect of the subconscious that can become clearer through drawing, painting, modeling, sculpting, or crafting something entirely new.

The Need for a Guide

The role of the art therapist in Singapore is to help the artist unlock emotions or expression their inner tension or confusion. According to Jo Kelly, the president of the Australian and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association, an art therapist is “a qualified, trained individual who helps people and uses creative processes.” Kelly explains that simply colouring in a book, without the guidance of a trained therapist, is just not as effective or helpful.

While the therapist cannot “read” the drawings, he or she can help the artist gain insight. Sometimes, all that’s needed is an opportunity to be free, to be messy, and to self-express. That’s something that artists can’t achieve by colouring in the lines of a printed book.

Mental Health Services and Art Therapy in Singapore

Are you interested in art therapy in Singapore? You can get more information about art therapy treatments and benefits at Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic. Contact us to schedule a consultation about your mental health in Singapore with our psychiatrist, psychologists or psychotherapists , and find out how you may be able to reap the benefits of genuine art therapy.

In addition to art therapy, our clinic offers child counselling, mental health guidance for offenders, PTSD therapy for children and soldiers, and stress management for working adults. We maintain complete confidentiality and ensure a calm, secure space for your meeting with your psychiatrist in Singapore. We look forward to guiding you toward a happier, healthier future.


Psychology Today: Art Therapy Does Not Happen Through an Adult Colouring Book