The philosophical roots of art therapy lie in the works of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. Although some of their theories have since been discounted by expert psychologists, these two important figures did important work related to the conscious and the subconscious.

The Underlying Structure of the Mind

Assuming that each person has a conscious mind and a subconscious mind, there is the possibility that the links between those two layers of the mind can be broken or damaged. Trauma and stress can hide in the subconscious, wreaking havoc in the conscious mind and manifesting through depression, anxiety, rage episodes, and other problems.

Pathways to Emotional Connection

Through art, patients have a way to open up new pathways between the subconscious and the conscious minds. They tap into the creative parts of their brains, as well as the emotional centres, to make art. They link those emotions to thoughts and actions, framing ideas and feelings that they might have trouble putting into words.

Going Beyond Art Therapy

In some cases, art therapy needs to progress beyond the realm of art. The Singapore psychologist or psychiatrist can use elements of the art to discuss the patient’s thoughts and feelings. The art can open up a channel of communication, a bridge to other kinds of therapy and treatment that have more long-lasting effects.

That’s why many Singapore psychiatrists and psychologists recommend art therapy in conjunction with other types of treatment. Talk therapy is helpful, as are EMDR and clinical hypnosis; but art therapy can help those other treatments be even more effective.

The Beneficiaries of Art Therapy

Anyone can benefit from art therapy, but those who seem to need it most are people with limited vocabulary or difficulty with expression. Elderly patients with memory issues may have trouble finding the right words to express themselves. Children may not be able to translate their thoughts or feelings into phrases yet. Patients with psychosis may struggle to connect emotionally or to focus long enough to verbalise their thoughts. In any of these cases, art therapy can be extremely helpful. Soldiers traumatised in combat can learn to access suppressed memories and bring emotions to the surface so therapists can help them address those feelings.

The Effects of Regular Art Therapy Sessions

Experts have discovered that daily, weekly, or monthly art therapy sessions can help their patients unwind, relax, and calm down. They enable better social connections and provide relief from pent-up emotions. People with delusions may experience noticeable improvement in their ability to orient themselves within reality, while stressed-out individuals enjoy some relief from anxiety.

The Value of the Process

It’s important to remember that art therapy is all about the journey. It’s the process, not the result, that is most valuable. The works of art may be beautiful, impressive, exotic, or uninspiring, but as long as the artist is enjoying the creative process and connecting better with his emotions, the therapy is working.

To find art therapy in Singapore, contact Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic. As the home of highly skilled Singapore psychiatrists and an expert care team, we provide art therapy along with other holistic therapies. Our treatment plans are designed for each unique patient, customised to help that person find relief and hope.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Sources: Health and Healing New York (n,d), Psychology Today, February 24, 2014