“You just have to have the guidance to lead you in the direction until you can do it yourself.” Counseling, in simple terms, can be defined as a process between a counselor and client through which they explore and find solutions to problems that may occur on different fronts, including emotional, psychological, professional, or personal. The counselor helps clients escape stressful, distressful, and emotional situations and brings calmness and peace to their minds, lives, and surroundings.
Creative therapy or counseling uses art-based activities, including music, dance, painting, and other such pursuits, to help manage different emotional, mental, and psychological conditions. This type of therapy encourages people to solve their problems and work through their issues following art-based fun activities. The well-trained and licensed creative counselors help promote the emotional well-being and mental health of the person going through emotional turmoils. Creative counselors or therapists use a broader approach and multiple ways to help their clients. This type of psychotherapy includes Play Therapy, Play Therapy Games, Sand Tray Therapy, Art Therapy, Bibliotherapy, Music and Dance Therapy, and many others. These counselors are professionally trained to promote a much more robust and profound level of healing.
For creative counseling, the client need not have artistic or creative ability. The therapy helps people channel their thoughts and emotions through fun activities and artistic expressions. Therefore, this therapy is especially beneficial for people who struggle to express their views, emotions, and feelings verbally. This blog highlights the points about creative counseling and how it helps people move out of emotional distress.
Importance of creative counseling
In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated in their report that about 19.2% of the adult population across the United States had received treatment for their mental health problems, while about 9.5% of the population had gone through counseling sessions or therapy. In the creative counseling sessions, the client creates an art form under the counselor’s guidance that is suggested or prescribed according to the client’s needs.
Various types of therapy sessions are advised according to the client’s problems and the time they can take to balance their emotional and psychological distress. These include single-session therapy, short-term or long-term therapy, and one-at-a-time therapy. All these sessions are designed according to the client’s requirements and help them preserve their self-esteem and overcome symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression.
According to the American Art Therapy Association, creative therapy helps people enhance their social skills and improve their self-esteem, self-awareness, and cognitive and sensorimotor functions. The treatment helps resolve conflicts and issues while building and maintaining emotional strength. Creative counseling aids in the self-empowerment of people receiving it and creates a distraction from symptoms of pain, illness, and distress. It also helps people in building their relationships stronger than before while having a better understanding of themselves.
Various studies have claimed that creative therapy sessions have helped manage mental health conditions, trauma, stress and emotional disturbance, and chronic or long-term illness such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or physical or developmental disabilities. An article published in 2020 claims that creative therapy positively impacts people with dementia, cancer, heart failure, end-stage renal disease, HIV or AIDS, and many other diseases.
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Among the multiple types of creative therapy, music, dance, poetry, and drama are the most common. The clients can discuss with the professional therapists about their problems and the type of therapy that suits them the best. The treatment is not limited to any age or gender. It is for all and helps every age group, including children, adolescents, teens, and adults. The activities in the therapy session are modified according to the client’s age and requirements. Overall, creative counseling and therapeutic sessions work to benefit their clients and improve their mental and emotional well-being.
Different art-based activities are included in the sessions of creative therapy. The various forms of innovative treatment help their clients manage their situations differently. Only the best-suited therapy will be applied to help the client in the best possible way.
It is a combination of talking therapies and creative interventions. Therefore, talking and intense discussions with clients help them manage and balance their psychological and emotional turmoils.