Creative arts therapies are based on the premise that when someone works creatively under the guidance of a qualified therapist, they become more expressive and communicative. This raises their awareness of issues and brings impetus for change. Art therapy is used in a variety of settings, including hospitals, wellness centers, clinics, community agencies, education institutions, and private practices. The creative work can involve music, art, dance, movement, and other creative activities.
The creative process in art therapy often contributes to a sense of clarity for the individual, leading to greater self awareness and understanding.
Therapeutic art often brings emotional expression, improvement of self-esteem, and management of conflict. Art therapy is particularly useful in addressing trauma, because of the unique capacity of art to express repressed traumatic imagery.
Music therapists use music to provide distraction from anxiety and pain by directing the listener to relaxing or comforting music.Clients can also engage in active music-making sessions, such as drumming, singing, or group keyboard lessons. Research shows that this has positive effects on overall wellbeing by decreasing anxiety, depression, and loneliness.