The use of art therapy activities depends a lot on the type of individual that it is being used for. Remembering that the goal of art therapy is based on each individual client’s diagnosis, their particular capabilities, individual needs, and their personal interests–an emphasis on the creative process is placed along the path instead of the final finished project.
As a rule of thumb, adults do not respond as well to art therapy activities as do children, requiring a certain degree of convincing that they have creative ability. There is an excited eagerness about children (and certain adults) when they see paint, pencils, colored paper, and clay. This is why they can respond so well to art therapy activities in a therapeutic session as compared to adults. In fact, most adults would prefer to express their own creative side in the privacy of their home to reduce stress. But there are times when more serious problems need the assistance of professional help–such as with an art therapist.
Art therapy activities can be successful because they have the ability to move the mind from the problem itself, in hopes of achieving peace and happiness. The Dalai Lama once said, “In the final analysis, the hope of every person is simply peace of mind.” This achievement can be accomplished with a pleasant state of conscious, on the condition there is a connection with reality. With art therapy and art therapy activities, reality can be moved and changed for a few minutes, as art can take a person’s mind off what is the problem, allowing the subconscious to come forth and speak in another language that is kinder and much more gentler.
When creating with art therapy activities, the body and mind obtains a certain flow about it, almost as if it was in a near-meditative state. Over the centuries, philosophers have been aware that meditation has the ability to blank the mind out of what is currently going on around it. In fact, the visualizations that develop through this form of creativity have the ability to build tomorrow’s wished reality, if the art is allowed to be created in a thoughtless state of pure automation.
This mind-set works well with art therapy activities, as not all children and adults can accurately verbalize about how they feel what is going on inside of their mind or their body, especially if something traumatic has happened. Not in touch with the reality of emotions and inner feelings, the mind is not free to experience the present which is where we are, but is buried in the past with hidden memories that cannot break free.