The role of Art Therapy on health and well-being.

Art Therapy is gaining the attention and support of the World Health Organisation and many other health organisations throughout the world as being a powerful form of healing and medicine for a wide variety of conditions.

The World Health Organisation has prepared an extensive report of it’s findings into the benefits of art therapy. Below is an excerpt from the report.

“Each of the component parts of arts activities can trigger psychological, physiological, social and behavioural responses that are themselves causally linked with health outcomes. For example, the aesthetic and emotional components of arts activities can provide opportunities for emotional expression, emotion regulation and stress reduction (23).

Emotion regulation is intrinsic to how we manage our mental health (24,25), while stress is a well-known risk factor for the onset and/or progression of a range of health conditions including cardiovascular diseases (CVD) (26) and cancers (27).

Cognitive stimulation when engaging in the arts can provide opportunities for learning and skills development, and it is not only associated with a lower risk of developing dementias but also interrelated with mental illness such as depression (28).

Social interaction while participating in the arts can reduce loneliness and lack of social support, which are both linked with adverse physiological responses, cognitive decline, functional and motor decline, mental illness and premature mortality (29,30). Social interaction that brings together different groups of people can improve social capital and reduce discrimination, the latter being linked with mental illness and a range of other health conditions including CVD, respiratory conditions and indicators of illness such as pain and headaches (31).

Physical activity through participating in the arts can reduce sedentary behaviours, which are associated with conditions such as chronic pain, depression and dementia (32). ” Full report available here

At Innate Therapies we utilise art therapy for many of our clients and for many reasons, for example with a young child who has behavioural issues or an adult who has been subjected to trauma in childhood and wants to be able to move through the trauma to live a better life.

Our principal practitioner, Donna Mahoney is one of the leading Art Therapists in the Far Northern Region and holds a full Diploma of Art Therapy as one of her many qualifications. She is passionate about using art therapy to create lasting change for her clients and utilises it not only at the Innate Therapies clinic but also in workshops throughout the community.

If you would like to book a session with Donna and experience the benefits of art therapy for yourself, please book an appointment here.