What is Art Therapy and How it Works

What is Art Therapy and How it Works


Hello friends. Today, I’ll share with you on what is art therapy and explain how it works. I am Youhjung and I was trained as an art therapist and here I create helpful videos on art therapy. Art therapy can happen in many forms – in groups, with couples, ,with family, with individuals, and with a whole community. So what is art therapy? Art therapy in its simplest definition is expressing yourself through art, for our physical mental and emotional well-being. If you want a more in-depth explanation of the different kinds of art therapy You can listen to my podcast episode 19 (link is in the description). In art therapy there are three things that are present: The artist or art-maker, the artwork, and the art therapist. The art therapist provides purposefully chosen and curated art materials, supporting the art maker and helping them work towards a therapeutic goal. What questions do you have about art therapy? Let me know in the comments below. How art therapy works. Art therapy works on many different levels and here I explain how it works on our body, mind, and soul. In terms of our body art therapy involves our senses – our sight, our sense of touch, hearing and even smell. Art therapy has advantages over verbal therapy because the art-making process Involves interacting with materials, with tools, and It involves physical activity. The body is involved in creating and that is a powerful thing. That is why it can feel very calming when we make art and we become more in tune with the present moment. We can release the past and we can release the future. The act of coordinated movement, seeing and feeling with our senses during art making help regulate our heartbeat, our breath, and even our muscle tone. In terms of mind art therapy works in many different ways In art therapy we can communicate non-verbally through images. This can be easier to do compared to using words only. It can be safer to use images than words and most of our memories are stored in images so art therapy helps us access those memories. When you do our therapy you are activating both sides of the brain integrating both left and right hemispheres. This helps with having more balance in our mental states and in our experiences and it helps reduce stress. During our therapy we can access the subconscious memories and experiences that we store in the right brain and consciously explore them with our left brain and this makes art therapy a whole brain healing method. Art therapy combines the process of both healing through bodily experience and through thinking. To give you an example there are two kinds of therapy or healing methods: One that is mind-based like talk therapy and one that is body-based, like float therapy or exercise. And art therapy is wonderful in that it is both at the same time – both mind and body based which can be very powerful. They say about 95% of our actions are based on our subconscious Because our subconscious speaks more readily in a visual language – in a nonverbal language – art therapy can help us tap into our emotions underneath our consciousness and give us a tool to express them. On a soul level Art therapy is a spiritual practice as well because it helps us connect with our soul and our higher being, allowing us to become more self-aware and connect to what is intangible and to what is bigger than us. Also art therapy helps us make meaning out of our life and the feelings and thoughts we experience. It empowers us to see pain, transform it, and create our own meaning from it. It gives us a sense of direction and ultimately a purpose in life, as we humans are creative beings. Thank you for watching this video. If you enjoyed this, please like this video and subscribe to my channel for more art therapy videos. Thank you, and I’ll see you next time. Bye

40 Replies to “What is Art Therapy and How it Works”

  1. I’ve been having artist block fro awhile now but watching your videos has allowed me to create non judgmentally and freely. Getting back to the basics of why I make art and why I enjoy it so much is truly liberating. Thank you for your inspiring videos from one artist to another.

  2. Thank you for this video! It helped me understand art therapy in a logical way. Also – where did you get that green linen dress? I love it!

  3. Your Videos are so Calming and bring me back to my Creativity and engage me to Draw again.
    I'm curious how you compromise between sustainabilty/minimalism and your Art supplies.

    (Sorry for the incorrect spelling, it's a pain in the butt to Write an english Text with German auto-correction >_<" :D)

  4. This was so nicely explained. I
    found it very inspiring. Will be
    starting Art again after many
    years. Purely as now I am settled
    and recently retired. Appreciated
    this. Love from Switzerland.

  5. Thank you for explaining! I still have a question tho. What can I do to not focus so hard on creating something meaningful or pretty? After one of your other videos I wanted to try self art therapy. During the process I was constantly trying to push away those thoughts of creating something good. I even tried to accept them but I'm not very good at this yet. So I ended up with a drawing similar to yours in the video. My brain just wouldn't allow me to be free and creative… How do you do it? Do you let your hands draw whatever they want or do you have some picture/idea in mind before you start? Sending love from Switzerland. <3

  6. I was wondering~ the art therapy you showed so far is a bit abstract, so are there symbols and things you were taught how to identify and understand the meanings of when helping someone with art therapy? Also, can the art be more literal or is abstract more the way to go when creating art for this purpose? Thanks so much ^.^

  7. Another inspiring, informative and calming video. Where do you run your practice from? Do you visit clients or have them come to you? Also love your minimalist/sustainable wardrobe.

  8. Thank you.

    For years now I have drawn (pencil and crayons) and formed (wire wreaths and yarn) mandalas as a spiritual practice. I only do it when motivated to do so and I do it for the process of doing it, not for the end product. There is a spaciousness in creating ‘art’ this way.and it feeds me. Right now I’m not creating anything and I’m just open to the next creative idea to urge me to create. I look at work I’ve done and it gives me so much joy, feeding me still in new ways that don’t need explanation.

  9. i be too wound up and stressed concentration is not possible an only sleep every 3 or maybe 8 days on the run i just cannot slow down or stop. but this looks beautiful.

  10. Have you ever heard of Ebru, the Ottoman art? While marbling, the soul of the person rests, and a magnificent work of art is revealed. You must try.

  11. Really interested in art therapy for myself now to try as a relaxing tool. Any tips where to start

  12. I’ve been quite interested about this topic and your videos help a lot!! Thank you so much for the information!

  13. This was actually really educational. I have had art therapy but have not really understood what I was supposed to do there and what it was supposed to help with and ended up just doing whatever I found pretty.

    What do you think are the requirements for art therapy to work? I think I might have the opportinuty to have art therapy again, but given that I am quite prone to being misunderstood (I'm autistic) and because my problems tend to be on the practical side of things (it's more the overwhelm from trying to live independantly without the guidance I would have needed than negative thinking patterns) I'm not sure whether it is what I need.

  14. Hi! Thanks to you and your sister's great content. I am a homeschool teacher. We practice mindfulness every morning but we need to do more. How can I use art to address pride and self-absorption / self-entitledness with children ages 10-12?

  15. Another excellent video. Thank you. I'm struggling with the perfectionist side of my psyche. It's been a problem for years. I am my own worst enemy!! But I like the idea of memories being stored as images. That makes sense to me. Now I think I'm beginning to understand why art therapy works. At least, in my limited capacity. I will get there…..one small step at a time, and with your help!!

  16. Such a lovely and accurate video. I want to show this to everyone I know so they'll understand what I'm training to become and why it's so wonderful.

  17. Wonderful and thoughtful. Thank you for this video. I have a feeling I will be watching it more than once, and I will share it with others too. 😊

  18. How would you start on an art therapy degree? My major is art studio now? Is it better to know lots of different art such as painting,drawing, sculpting, pottery, and more?

  19. Can art therapy helps me facing my fears and be free?
    Can art therapy helps me express my self freely and speak my self and explore myself??

  20. Hi! I have a bachelors in psychology. I am artist self taught in multiple mediums. I originally wanted to be a marriage and family therapist. Then after I got my bachelors I took a break to focus on art. Now I find myself wanting to combine the two. Art therapist or art teacher. Can I be an art therapist if I have a degree in psychology and no formal art training

  21. what a beautiful video and so helpful to think about what really is the basis of art therapy! moving your body is so so so important

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *