Women's Tips

Art therapy in action


Each of us is a creative person. Absolutely no exceptions, since the desire to create is inherent in every person. This is the basis of the art therapy methods, which are designed to help you better understand yourself and the world around you. Art therapy has no contraindications, it does not make diagnoses, but it pushes us to a lot of inner work. Art therapy classes have a long effect, provide great food for the mind and open up new opportunities to work on yourself.

What is art therapy and to whom it suits

Art therapy originated in the 40s and 50s of the 20th century in the USA and the UK. Then the idea that creativity promotes spiritual growth became popular. Gradually, art therapy has become a separate scientific discipline and today one can observe a huge interest in it.

Art therapy is a young direction in psychotherapy that helps people to heal their psychological problems with the help of creative activity. Simply put, it is healing with creativity, art therapy. All this man uses for a long time: from petroglyphs to modern installations. Even in ancient times, they knew that art has healing properties.

But in contrast to artistic creativity, in art therapy, art is just a means for deep immersion in oneself, revealing one’s own potential, searching for answers to exciting questions. Methods of art therapy are focused on the creative process itself, and not on the final result. This makes art therapy a universal way of self-knowledge that suits almost everyone without exception.

Features of art therapy

For art therapy, it is not at all important whether you can draw, sculpt, dance, etc. All activities and methods are focused on the creative process itself.

Art therapy allows you to look into the unconscious, into the world of images. Usually this is where the solution to all our psychological problems lies. In this case, art is a safe and gentle method of immersion in your own inner world.

Methods of art therapy are successfully used both for the treatment of psychological problems and for the disclosure of internal potential., creativity, personal growth.

In art therapy can come with any request, and even without it. Sometimes we ourselves do not know what worries and disturbs us, where to look for inspiration and our purpose. Art therapy appeals to images and helps to hear your inner voice.

The methods of art therapy include any kind of art. Most often, classical art therapy uses drawing, painting, drawing, modeling, photography. Today, the list is significantly expanded and also includes: music therapy, fairy therapy, mascotherapy, puppet therapy, dramatherapy, writing, color therapy.

What are the results of art therapy?

Art therapy makes it possible to express our feelings and emotions (especially those that we consciously or unconsciously suppress).

It helps to see a solution to a problem or find a way out of a difficult situation.

Helps to understand and accept their emotions.

Relieves stress and tension.

Gives faith in one's own strengths and successful experience (in art therapy, no one assesses the degree of artisticity of the work, the main goal of the process is to get pleasure from creativity).

Develops creativity, intuition, gives inspiration.

It gives hope that the difficulties can be overcome, and the pain survive.

8 methods of art therapy that can be applied independently

Art therapy is not just coloring, modeling or listening to music. We need a specially trained art therapist in order for it to have a therapeutic effect. His work is to create a cozy space for creativity, individual selection of methods, feedback, psychodiagnostic methods.

But acquaintance with art therapy can begin with self-study. For example, do any kind of creativity. This in itself will improve your well-being, give energy and inspiration. In addition, you can use our selection of interesting ways for creative expression with the help of art therapy:

Keep a diary and write down your thoughts, ideas, write lists, thanks, letters to yourself, poems, stories. Do not let your inner criticism hold you back. You write for yourself, not for the public.

Take a large sheet of paper and good pencils. Pick up your favorite music and draw under it everything that comes into your head. Music should be as close as possible to your current emotional state.

Create a collage from different magazine clippings, colored paper, candy wrappers, stickers. Ask a question to which you are looking for an answer, and try to answer it using a collage.

Draw in unusual ways: left hand, eyes closed, foot.

Make an inscription collage: cut out different words and make them into a phrase that is close to you.

Compose a fairy tale with the main character that looks like you.

Put three stains on the paper with any paint. When they are dry, try to see an image in each spot and paint it with pencils.

Draw a mandala: draw a large circle, inside it draw any spots, lines, shapes. Draw until you feel the work is finished.

Remember that creativity in any form has a healing effect. Art therapy helps to join this creative flow and find new resources, inspiration, find harmony and let go of your fears.

Let creativity be part of your life and create with pleasure!

You may be interested in: Gymnastics for the office.


Take paper and paint. For a moment, close your eyes. Imagine your happy life. What needs to be changed, implemented, tried to come to it?

Choose from the list of habits for happiness 3 of the most consonant to you, or invent your own. Sketch them in the form of pictures on the sheet. In the center, draw happiness - as you imagine it, in any image.

Habits for happiness: regular physical activity, creative and spiritual development, intellectual activity, doing charity and good deeds, relaxing with loved ones and dear people, praising yourself and giving pleasant surprises to yourself.

Connect all the pictures on the sheet among themselves to make a map.

When done, look at it carefully. Answer your questions:

  • Do you like your creation?
  • What do you feel when you look at your creation?
  • If the card could speak, what would it tell you?
  • What habit will you begin to implement today? Do it!

Fantastic therapeutic exercise "I can do everything"

Goal: search for your own life journey and resources for movement and search.

Duration - 10-15 minutes.

Required materials: pen, A4 sheet of paper.


Imagine that in your hands - a magic wand that can do everything. May fulfill your every desire, remove any obstacle on the way.

Now write a fairy tale about yourself - a princess who has found her way, but has met with many obstacles. Write a story about a princess who was looking for (and found) the way to her real. To his vocation, purpose, to self-realization. And in the end, of course, to a happy and harmonious life.

Describe in detail what interfered with the princess, preferably in a metaphorical form. Also describe the magic solutions to all problems. Even the most difficult and incomprehensible. Allow fantasy to go free and all "steal"

The princess learned to overcome difficulties on the way, and get joy from victories. Describe in as much detail as she felt, what emotions did she experience?

Involve all senses: what did the princess see? What did she hear? What tastes, smells, colors, sensations surrounded her? What did she feel, what emotions did she experience?

The princess has come to an ideal place, time, state of affairs. What is this point? Describe as much detail as possible.

In the process of writing a fairy tale, you can enter helpers, some images, etc. For the rest, just let your hand write.

At the end of the exercise, answer the questions:

  1. What is this tale for you?
  2. What feelings came in the process of writing a fairy tale?
  3. What does this tale teach?
  4. What can be taken in real life?
  5. What 2 specific actions can you do today to make the fairy tale come true?

Art-therapeutic exercise "Refill"

Objective: search for internal resources for self-improvement and development, positive reinforcement during the period of breakdown.

Duration - 25 minutes.

Required materials: plasticine, sheet A-4, notebook and pen.


  1. Take a piece of clay that you like the most. Create a bowl out of it.
  2. Put the bowl on A4 paper, as your intuition tells you.
  3. Take out of the box another piece of clay of a different color. Divide it into two parts, you can different. From one part of the clay mold the filling column - that is, the tank in which the fuel is stored. You must have seen such at gas stations. From the other part sculpt a long hose.
  4. For a moment, close your eyes, and imagine that in this column is a very important vital resource for you. This may be sincerity, confidence, health, love, the first association that comes to mind. Feel how the column was filled with this fuel, became full to the brim. Open your eyes carefully and continue.
  5. Now take another piece of clay. Again divide it into two parts, from one make a container, a column, and from the second - a hose. And also imagine that the column stores in itself some of the resources. Now it will be something else. Feel again that the container is full to the brim.
  6. Repeat the procedure another 2-3 times, until the feeling “is enough”.
  7. Place your items on a white sheet of paper in front of you, the cans around the bowl.
  8. Next, answer the following questions:

How does the bowl feel? Is it full or empty?

How do the speakers feel?

Which one is closest to the cup? And what - the farthest?

What is the relationship between the column and the bowl?

How much do you like them?

What is the meaning of the life of these objects from your point of view?

Would you like to fill the bowl from one of the columns? If so, do this by stretching the hose from the container to the bowl.

How are the bowl and the column feeling now? Is there still a desire to feed on some kind of fuel?

  1. Stay a little on your own "gas station". How has your condition changed now? Remember that you can always come and be filled with the fuel you need. To do this, simply take the hose and lower its edge into the bowl.
  2. Write important awareness in the notebook.

Collage "My bright, interesting wlife

Objective: a look from the outside on their achievements, resources and prospects. Search for ways of self-improvement and improvement of the quality of life.

Duration - 30 minutes.

Required materials: drawing paper, two or three magazines, scissors, pens, pencils or paints with a brush, glue.


Turn on light, relaxing music, better classics. Close your eyes for a moment. Imagine the life you would like to live. Bright, interesting, saturated with the events you want. Stay in this moment.

Then open your eyes and take the logs. Start flipping through them, choosing those pictures that respond to your soul. It is also good to note the consonant headings, slogans, labels. You can pry the sheets with these images, or just bend a corner of the page.

After you feel: everything, there will be enough pictures, start to cut them out.

Lay out all the pictures on the paper. Swap them, move them to the “like this!” Feeling. Then glue all the cut elements.

When done, look at it carefully. Answer your questions:

  • Do you like your creation?
  • What do you call it (better to write on the top of the collage)?
  • What do you feel when you look at your creation?
  • If the collage could say, what would it tell you?
  • What are two tiny actions you can do today to get closer to the life of your dreams? Do it!

Art exercise "Drawing" What do I feel? "

Purpose: acquaintance with your own feelings and emotions, finding contact between the inner world and external circumstances.

Duration - 15-20 minutes.

Materials needed: A4 sheet, brushes and paints.


Put a sheet in front of you. Close your eyes for a minute. Try to see with your inner eye what is happening to you now? What feelings fill the soul? What torments, annoying, and what, on the contrary, pleases? Try to "see" the images.

Now open your eyes and splash out on paper what you have just seen. Try not to analyze the drawing, just brush over the paper, periodically changing the color of the paint.

When you feel it is time to stop, put a brush. Take a look at your drawing. Answer your questions:

  • Do you like your creation?
  • Are there any images that you just saw in the picture? What do they tell you? Write down at least three associations that come to mind when looking at the picture.
  • Write down all those feelings that are depicted in the picture (according to the inner feeling).
  • What do you feel when you look at your creation?
  • If the drawing could say, what would he say to you?
  • What are two tiny actions you can do today to allow yourself to breathe deeply, feel and live without locking emotions and experiences deep inside? Do it!

Art exercise "River of Life"

Purpose: search for resources for change, self-development, personal growth, analysis of life values ​​and achievements, state harmonization.

Duration - 20 minutes.

Required materials: tray, glass of semolina.


Pour semolina on a tray. Put your hands on it. Try pereksypat semolina, feel what it is to the touch? Soft or rough? Warm or cool? What feelings do you have now?

Now close your eyes. And try using your fingers to draw a river on the seine. Intuitively, as it goes. There is no direct indication of whether your river should be straight or winding, broad or narrow. There is only you and your feelings.

When the river is ready, open your eyes. View your river. What is she like?

Your river is a stream of life. He is so at this moment in time, and this is neither good nor bad. This is how it is.

But semolina - bulk material, it is easy to change. So you can turn the river in the direction you want. Make a set of sleeves, or, conversely, merge the flow. Do you want to change something? Do it.

Feel what is happening in your inner world now. What new feelings have appeared? Perhaps new thoughts and insights have come? Write them down.

When you feel the change is enough, stop. Take a look at your drawing. Answer your questions:

  • Do you like your creation?
  • What is your picture talking about? What does she tell you? Write down at least three associations that come to mind when looking at the picture.
  • What do you feel when you look at your creation?
  • If the drawing could say, what would he say to you?
  • What are two tiny actions you can do today to allow yourself to be in the flow? Do it!

Choose the exercise that has most answered you, and ... go ahead! And let your creative search be very productive and happy!

I am sure that any of the proposed exercises can stir up important strings and see the world in new colors. I also invite you to see these art-therapeutic games:

What it is?

What is art therapy? This is a method of psychological correction and treatment based on creativity and art. Literally, the name translates as “art treatment”.

The main goal of such therapy is the harmonization of emotions, sensations and feelings, which is carried out with the help of self-knowledge and self-expression.

And it is creative activity that is the best way to know oneself, one’s consciousness, and even the subconscious. The technique of art therapy is based on the belief that the so-called inner or subconscious "I" of each person can be reflected in the images created by him during his creative activity.

As such images may be drawings, sculptures, collages, photographs and much more. Art therapy allows you not only to throw out your emotions and feelings, but also to evaluate them. So, if the process will be observed by a specialist (psychologist or psychotherapist), he will be able to understand and analyze the state in which the person is.

How did it appear?

The first term "art therapy" in 1938 was introduced by the artist Adrian Hill. At that time, he worked in sanatoriums with tuberculosis patients. Hill noticed that while painting, a person can express his state and get rid of bad thoughts. Further, this method was used when working with children who visited the fascist camps.

At the very beginning of its development, art therapy was based on the principles and views of Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung, who believed that the result of the patient’s creative activity certainly expresses his unconscious mental processes.

Но затем метод стал развиваться, а в 1960 году в Америке появилась первая Ассоциация арт-терапии. At that time, this method was used by psychiatrists, psychotherapists and psychologists, but today it is widely used not only by specialists, but also by ordinary people at home.

In what cases will be effective art therapy classes? Here are some indications:

  • depression, depression, apathy and other similar conditions,
  • stresses and their consequences
  • crises (for example, age-related or related to career growth and other life processes and events),
  • psychological trauma
  • rehabilitation after severe illness,
  • losses,
  • interpersonal or intrapersonal conflicts,
  • difficulties with socialization,
  • various psychosomatic disorders,
  • neurotic disorders
  • formation of personality and development of personal qualities,
  • fears (including children).

Art therapy helps in many other cases. You can start classes if you experience discomfort, look for a solution to a problem, or simply want to decide on your life goals.

If you work with a specialist, he will be able to help you solve the riddles of your mind, deal with thoughts and learn to control emotions. As for contraindications, they simply do not. So everyone can safely begin their studies.

What is useful?

What is the use of this method? These are the tasks that art therapy can solve:

  • This method makes it possible to express your emotions, thoughts and feelings. Sometimes it can be very difficult to do this with the help of words, and visual images will make it possible to understand and evaluate the condition.
  • This is an excellent means of dealing with stress. If you feel that you start to "boil", then take a piece of paper and paint and start drawing.
  • Art therapy helps fight fears. That is why it is useful for children, who often suffer from their own fears, as well as for pregnant women who are constantly afraid for their unborn child.
  • This is a great opportunity to get to know yourself better.
  • Art therapy helps to understand the world around us.
  • This method can help develop creativity and identify talents.
  • Many art therapy helps to improve self-esteem and become more confident.
  • The method helps to adapt to new conditions of life, to new people.
  • If a person has serious psychological problems, art therapy can help the psychologist to assess the patient’s condition and choose an effective method of treatment.
  • Art therapy can be used as a correction for feelings, behavior and emotions.

Types of art therapy

The following methods can be used in art therapy:

  1. Mask therapy is a method of transferring the problems and experiences of a person into masks.
  2. Videotherapy A person watches a video and, as it were, projects his own image on the image of a hero, empathizing with him, looking for ways to solve the problem and evaluating behavior and emotions.
  3. Modeling. Work with clay or other plastic materials is suitable for those who are under stress. Creating volume images allows you to more effectively express emotions and feelings.
  4. Color therapy. The method involves the impact of different colors, each of which can have a certain effect on the consciousness and state of a person.
  5. Sand therapy. Working with sand is soothing.
  6. Igroterapiya. Using the game, you can also identify problems and correct behavior.
  7. Fairy tale therapy. Emotions, condition, feelings and feelings are projected on the main characters of the tale.
  8. Phototherapy This can be work with ready-made images or create your own.
  9. Music therapy. It is known that music can affect the feelings, emotions and condition of a person.
  10. Isotherapy is drawing. With the help of the picture you can express and evaluate thoughts, feelings and emotions.
  11. Dance therapy. Dance helps not only to express feelings and emotions, but also to relax.
  12. Origami. Such activities not only help to know yourself better, but also perfectly discipline.
  13. Dramatherapy. Playing a plot, you can get used to the image and assess your condition.

There are also some other less known methods.

How to do?

Before you start, it is best to get training, of course. This will allow you to find out the most effective and suitable methods.

We offer some simple exercises:

  1. If there are problems in family relationships, then you can draw a family. First draw it the way you imagine it. Then picture the perfect family. Rate the pictures and try to understand what you are not comfortable with, what you are missing.
  2. Self portrait. Draw yourself and then analyze your drawing. Rate the colors, lines, details.
  3. If a child has difficulty adapting in kindergarten, then ask him to draw his garden. From the picture you can understand why a child is experiencing discomfort.
  4. Draw your state. Listen to the emotions and sensations. It is not necessary to draw emotions. Just intuitively choose colors and draw whatever you want.
  5. Scribble. Take a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Start drawing a tangle of lines. First, do it unconsciously, then try to look at the image in the drawing and develop it. Rate your drawing.
  6. Flower. Close your eyes and imagine a flower. Describe its smell, appearance, features. Draw the flower on paper and make up a story about it.

Be sure to pay attention to art therapy, because it can help you cope with some problems.

What is art therapy?

Generally speaking of art therapy, we mean the so-called therapy of the visual arts (English: art therapy), although in a broader sense, the concept of art therapy (English: arts therapy) also includes music therapy, dance and movement therapy, drama therapy and some other groups of methods for children, adolescents and adults.

Art therapy is used as a method of psychological correction in work with children's neuroses, phobias and behavioral disorders.

In addition, in the last decade polymodal art therapy (English: expressive arts therapy) has been actively developing, the methods of which include creative activity simultaneously in different areas:

  • in art,
  • in drama,
  • in move,
  • in dance,
  • in music,
  • in literary work.

Art therapy as a direction of psychology and psychotherapy originates in the 40s of the last century in the United States, and is currently prevalent in the United States, Great Britain and other countries of Western Europe, in Israel, and somewhat less in Russia.

Who is an art therapist?

Different roads lead to art therapy, sometimes winding and thorny, as often happens with creative professions. Perhaps the most important professional tool of an art therapist is his personality. Active art, spontaneity and authenticity distinguish a good art therapist. How to become an art therapist:

  1. Artists receive additional specialization in art therapy and then begin activities in the art therapy studio, as a rule, implementing a non-directive approach.
  2. The psychologist can also receive additional art therapy education, and then use elements of art therapy in his usual work or practice in the art therapy format.
  3. Medical professionals, usually psychiatrists, also sometimes receive art therapy training to help their patients with greater efficiency.

His approach largely depends on the basic education and field of practice of the art therapist, each of them has its own attractive points and this should be kept in mind when choosing a specialist.

By: Henri Matisse

How it works?

Art therapy methods are based on the understanding of art as a way of expressing what is difficult or impossible to express in words. In the creative process, a person becomes more authentic and free than in everyday life, and he finds such wonderful tools for expressing complex feelings like color, plastic form, sound, movement, symbol, image.

In the creative work, inevitably, internal conflicts, traumatic experiences, unconscious emotions are reflected - all that in the usual "verbal" therapy becomes hidden mechanisms of mental defenses.

In art therapy, many unconscious feelings appear in the safe space of a creative object.

This expressive creative process is therapeutic in itself, at the expense of the psyche's own resources and its ability to self-heal. In addition, the presence of another person (therapist, facilitator, members of the therapeutic group) and his unconditional acceptance of the patient in the work has a transforming effect at the interpersonal level.

By Shin Kwang Ho

That is, even by simply drawing something of his own, silently and on his own wave, in the presence of an art therapist, the patient is already undergoing therapy. A deeply personal, emotional creative process, shared with a careful and accepting other person - sometimes this is enough to activate your own emotional resources, harmonize your mental state and make contact with yourself.

In addition, the created creative work can become the subject of discussion, and then the impact is carried out by a deeper understanding and acceptance by the client himself.

Psychoanalytic oriented art therapists use creative work as a material for the analysis, interpretation, interpretation of symbols, the birth of associations. This use of art therapy as a path to the unconscious client, which helps him to establish contact with himself.

Very popular are the methods of art therapy among Jungian analysts who explore archetypal symbols in the works and help to understand and sometimes change the deep “history” or “myth” that accompanies the life path of the client.

Who needs art therapy first?

Due to the fact that art therapy has a multi-level therapeutic potential, it suits a very wide range of patients. In cases where verbal therapy is useless or impossible, art therapy becomes an indispensable aid.

For example, art therapy for mental illness in inpatient clinics is quite common. As a rule, in the format of an art therapy group or an open studio, art therapy shows its effectiveness even for patients in a state of acute psychosis, when no productive communication is possible.

Art therapy is also useful for older people suffering from the suppression of mental functions (including senile dementia), for patients with severe somatic diseases, for children with disabilities, such as:

  • autism,
  • hyperactivity,
  • delayed mental and speech development and others.

Healthy children, who need the help of a psychologist because of their emotional state, fears and other local troubles, art therapy helps as a diagnostic and correctional tool that does not require a child’s high speech activity.

Photo by Vasilisa Rusakova

Among clinically healthy people, there are also a lot of those to whom art therapy is suitable, as it gives an opportunity to develop in a personal and creative sense, helps to cope with stress, correct neuroses and phobias, work out family or child-parent relationships.

By Paul Klee

How it's done?

Classes art therapy can vary greatly from each other depending on the direction, form of work and features of the approach. Usually, a short introductory discussion takes place at the beginning of the session, then the client is asked to choose materials for work (in good offices or studios the choice of materials is as wide as possible), and then take some time for independent creativity, after which the result of the work is discussed, analyzed or improved. Both the creation of work and participation in discussions are always strictly voluntary, there is no pressure on the client in any form of art therapy, and he can easily refuse to draw, dance or speak.

There are several basic forms of art therapy work.

Individual art therapy

This is an option of individual psychotherapy or psychological counseling, in which the client engages in creative work in the presence of a specialist. This can be a drawing on a given topic or in a given technique, the consistent creation of an artistic image with an accompanying story (fairy tale), or free spontaneous improvisation.

Usually, an art therapy session lasts a little longer than a normal consultation (from 45 to 120 minutes), and during this time the client has time to plunge into a state of creative flow, create an artistic image, and then examine it with the therapist.

Group art therapy

This is essentially a psychotherapeutic group that can be held in two different formats for organizing the process:

  1. Closed format with a permanent list of participants.
  2. Open format, with the possibility of accepting new members.

The duration of the following types of art therapy:

  1. Short-term, from several weeks to several months.
  2. Long-term, from one to several years.

The duration of one group session is usually from one and a half to three hours. During group lessons, participants are immersed in a special, careful and accepting atmosphere in which they can freely express and discuss their feelings, engage in spontaneous creativity or create art objects - their own, paired or group-wide. As a rule, a discussion between group members takes place before and after the creation of works.

Photo by Vasilisa Rusakova

Usually, the group has a moderator - a professional art therapist, who to some extent regulates the work of the art group. The intervention of the therapist may be minimal - for example, the organization of classes, control of the place and time of conducting, scoring the rules of the group. And maybe more direct participation, for example, the interpretation of elements of work, initiatives in discussions, analysis of group dynamics, suggestion of topics or materials for creativity, and so on.

Group art therapy is carried out in free-formed groups, or in groups with a specific criterion:

  • according to the age,
  • the floor
  • professions
  • diagnosis and so on.

Group art therapy for pregnant women is quite common, as well as group art therapy in various types of clinical and social rehabilitation. In addition, the popular enjoys:

  1. Children's art therapy. It can be implemented both in individual and in group form, while children's art therapy is characterized by a richness of classes in various forms of creativity. Sand art therapy, spontaneous movement, dance movement therapy, play therapy and fairy-tale therapy are often used in working with children.
  2. Family art therapy. Usually, family art therapy, like family counseling, focuses on improving the quality of communication between family members. Methods of family art therapy include a variety of techniques of co-creation, which help to understand family relationships, improve mutual understanding and learn to share feelings and thoughts with each other.
  3. Open art therapy studio. This is one of the common forms of non-direct art therapy. As a rule, such open-air studios work at mental clinics, psychological aid centers or institutions for children with special needs. A studio can work several times a week or every day, and each client of such a studio has the opportunity to voluntarily come or go at any time. In the studio space there is always one or several art therapists who are willing to devote time and attention to each participant, if he has such a need. All clients can use any materials that are in the studio, discuss their feelings and thoughts with therapists (sometimes with other participants), try different forms of behavior and expression in a safe environment.

For all forms, there are certain general and particular methods, exercises and techniques of art therapy.

Of particular interest is the technology of art therapy in the framework of some methods that stimulate the deep emotional resources of the individual and have a powerful transforming potential.

How does this happen?

In addition to painting and graphics, art forms are often used in plastic arts - the creation of models and installations, sculpture, modeling of clay and so on.

Clay moldings in art therapy have an effect due to the “switching” of perception to the sensorimotor level, which allows for activating deeper emotional resources.

Manipulations with clay relax, relieve muscle tension and allow you to express a wide range of diverse feelings. The possibilities of this art therapy technology allow you to work with clay with those patients for whom iso-therapy is impossible (with the blind and visually impaired).

For healthy people who have developed the ability to abstract thinking and symbolization, visual-narrative techniques are well suited - when, in addition to creating artistic images, narrative accompaniment is also created in the form of a story, essay or comic.

This approach allows the patient to express their experiences simultaneously on several levels:

Групповая арт-терапия позволяет заниматься коллективным литературным творчеством и исследовать внутригрупповые отношения.

Одним из самых современных направлений арт-терапии является ландшафтная арт-терапия – этот подход осуществляется в тесном взаимодействии человека с природой. As part of such activities, group art therapy involves walking and hiking in nature, where participants enjoy contact with the plant and animal world, immerse themselves in meditative contemplation and create art objects from natural materials. Landscape art therapist sees nature as an inexhaustible source of resources in the emotional and spiritual sense, and also appreciates the richness of symbols that fill the world of living nature.

Another interesting area of ​​art therapy is gesture drawing. The author of this method, the Scottish art therapist Beverly O’Cort, adheres to a holistic approach to understanding the person, and considers good contact between the patient and his own body an important condition for successful therapy.

Beverly O’Court at the Moscow Art Therapy Center

Hand drawing can be described as physical practice, since the whole body of a person who moves in his authentic internal rhythm participates in the process of drawing, as if dancing his own dance, leaving traces of paint on a huge canvas.

For many modern people, restraint is characteristic, a tendency to suppress emotions, which is reflected in physical tension and some muscle stiffness, so free movement helps them to feel contact with their own “I” and to free themselves from internal pressure. Such art-therapeutic techniques associated with movement can be very effective for patients who have difficulty in understanding and expressing their own feelings.

Popular self-help techniques are popular, including independent creative exercises. Technique of art therapy in a strictly scientific sense does not imply independent practice, but nevertheless, many find it quite effective for self-regulation of the emotional state, such techniques as drawing mandalas, spontaneous drawing, painting ornaments and others.

During the lessons of art therapy, the atmosphere created by the creative process is important. In ordinary life, we don’t have so many chances to stay relaxed and immediate, to regress to childhood, to return to our lively and vivid feelings. And the creative and warm atmosphere of the art-therapeutic space disposes to the game, to the spontaneity and freedom of expression.

The author of the article: psychologist and art therapist Vasilisa Rusakov

Art therapy methods

Modern art therapy contains in its arsenal multiple methods. That is why from all sorts of methods and techniques it is easy to choose a specific method of exposure for each individual.

There are two main methods of this direction of personal development: passive and active. The passive approach consists in the consumption by man of works of art created by other people. For example, a client may view pictures created by someone, read works of various artistic orientations, listen to musical works. An active approach to creativity is based on the creation of data of objective realities independently.

The work of a specialist in the field of art therapy may be based on several of its forms. Consider each view in more detail.

Music therapy

Music therapy is a system of psychological correction of not only mental but also physical health of an individual through musical and acoustic vibrations. Music itself has multiple therapeutic effects and affects a person’s well-being. There are group and individual music therapy. Sessions can be carried out both sitting and lying, depending on the goals set by the specialist. Before the beginning of the session, the guide establishes psychological contact with the client, explains the goals, objectives and the necessary final result. In some cases, live music performance can be applied.


For the purpose of a special correctional impact on a person by reading selected literature, normalization and optimization of his psychological state takes place. With the help of books you can influence the thoughts, the nature of the actions and behavior of people. Due to this, the solution of seemingly unsolvable problems occurs.


Based on theatrical productions of various thematic focus. They help to influence all mental processes of a client, improve memory, develop imagination and sensuality, improve attentiveness and thinking. Dramatic classes also develop logic and help to control one’s body, not to be shy of one’s self, remove internal clips and show through the game ways out of these situations.

Game therapy

With the help of the game it is perfectly possible to influence the mental field, both of children and adults. Games take place with the help of special characters, which are the dolls and various items. Objects of the game have a lot of useful properties, they can be used to develop many hidden abilities. This happens by the fact that during the game there is an opportunity to apply not only tactile sensations, but also toys can be viewed, listened to, communicate with them.

Game therapy is used both in individual work with the client, and in the group. Impact in the form of a game helps not only to get rid of the complexes and overcome individual barriers, but also to help people solve professional and family problems.


Fine art, especially in the form of drawing, helps to resolve internal conflicts outside, allows you to evaluate the significance of your feelings and revise the approach to their development or oppression, develops your own importance to people with low self-esteem. In addition, isotherapy perfectly develops the creative potential of man. The main reasons why experts use isotherapy in their practice are the following client problems:

  • neurotic and psychosomatic disorders,
  • problems in the social sphere, not the ability to find a place in society,
  • communication difficulties due to low self-esteem,
  • serious family conflicts.

With the help of isotherapy, the children, locked in communication, become more relaxed, and children with aggressive manifestations in the psyche become more balanced.

In isotherapy, the most common methods are:

  1. Drawing on wet paper. Through the mixing of paints, effects on the child’s imaginative feelings take place.
  2. Monotype The image is first applied to the glass, which is then applied to a blank piece of paper.
  3. The technique of inflating paint. With the help of a special tube, the drawing obtained on a piece of paper is inflated. The resulting image is subject to study and Ouenke.


Psychological work is to translate the deep-seated complexes and problems of the client into the inanimate matter of the mask. A person is a projection of the mood and state of the human psyche, as well as traces of the present and the past. The method is based on getting rid of familiar and stereotypical roles, liberation from unnecessary thoughts and dogmas. In general, mascotherapy can affect the actions of a person in the future and change the life according to the scenario that the person himself wishes.

It is a technical technique in art. Its essence lies in the formation of the desired drawings or images on the paper. For work using various objects and materials that are glued to the paper. They must be different from each other in color and texture. You will also need glue, tape and scissors.

Sand therapy

Communication with your “I” and with the outside world occurs through the sand. It helps to cope with internal stress and to embody it unconsciously - the symbolic level. Sand therapy allows you to raise your inner self-esteem and open new ways of developing difficult situations. The picture in the sand can be understood as a three-dimensional image of any aspect of the mental state, the conflict is transferred from the inner world to the outer and made visible.

Color therapy

Treatment and recovery of trauma using color. The specialist in color therapy produces a color effect on the client, depending on the task. Each shade has its own healing effect. For example, the red - orange color affects the heartbeat, increases the heart rate and has a stimulating effect on a person, and dark blue, on the contrary, calms and pacifies.

Fairy tale therapy

Reading fairy tales, epics, myths and parables develop children's figurative thinking, instill in them moral norms and rules of behavior. Well developed imagination and logic. The resolution of any problems and difficulties occurs through reading, playing roles, inventing the continuation of the tale. The technique perfectly helps both children and adults.


Helps to develop and harmonize personal potential. The work takes place both with ready-made photos, and with the author's pictures. The content of phototherapy lies in the fact that photographic images are created and perceived by the client, which are supplemented during the session by discussing them and different types of creative activity (drawing, collageing, installing ready-made images into space, making figures from the photos and then playing with them).

Clay therapy

Clay allows the client to gently react, realize and recycle the sad experience of their activities. Suitable for those clients who for some reason find it difficult to express their problem verbally. All mixed feelings and experiences are molded from clay into a certain form, which is easy to modify, adjust to the desired image. This allows you to quickly find a solution to the existing problem, to understand the methods of further actions. Sculpting helps a person to open up and understand himself, to cope with fears, aggression and resentment.


Thus, we can conclude that all methods of art therapy are a wonderful means of influencing many areas of human life. The technique helps not only to cope with personal spiritual conflicts, but also allows you to find a solution to the most complex and confusing situation. The uniqueness of art therapy consists in the versatility of its impact: tactile, visual and auditory analyzers are involved in the process of the sessions.

1. A postcard with your own hands that you will not send to anyone

If you have feelings for someone that you are not ready to confess, if you are angry, but you know that it is better to restrain from angry expressions, try to describe it in detail. The writing of the text itself has a therapeutic effect, and the design of the postcard enhances it and activates various parts of the brain. When done, seal the letter, sign it, and send it to the trash can (or push it into the back drawer), if you find it, the message will lose some of its power.

2. Draw a picture and create a collage

Draw a picture on paper or cardboard when done, cut it into pieces or tear it apart. Then use the pieces as constituent elements for a new work of art - a collage. See how your original creation turns into something new, interesting, unpredictable. This exercise points to the direct close connection between creation and destruction, encourages us to take risks, encourages creativity in other aspects of life.

3. Build the altar of a loved one

Be inspired by folk art and create an altar in honor of the relationship between you and another person, whether he lives or not. Decorate the shrine with photographs, letters and relics reminiscent of the times spent together, as well as new art objects created by you in honor of this relationship. Use everything that can become artistic material, from gifts to candy wrappers, if you know that these are HIS favorite candies. The construction of such an altar to another person awakens memories and serves as a physical manifestation of relationships that can provide spiritual comfort in difficult times.

4. Draw in complete darkness

Most of the stress that we suffer from doing creative work comes from criticism and judgments that seem inevitable at every turn. Try to create a work of art in complete darkness to free yourself from that inner art critic, who lives in your head. (Imagine this as a blind contour drawing.) You are suddenly released to create lines, shapes, and patterns. Turning on the light, most likely, the image will surprise you.

5. Color your physical condition

Lie down and close your eyes. Imagine your body as you breathe. Try to imagine the color of the air that you inhale and that which you exhale. What do you see? Draw the outline of your body on a large piece of paper and paint it in watercolor based on your physical condition. Think about what these colors mean to you, where they are concentrated more and where less. This is your most relaxing self-portrait.

6. Zentangle: drawing meditation

Zentangl (Zen Tengl, Zen Tangl, Zen Tangling, Zen Tangling) is a drawing method invented by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. It was designed to make drawing meditative and accessible to all. You can learn the technique from a knowledgeable specialist or master it yourself. To do this, you will need a sheet of paper, in the original a square with a side of 9 cm, along the edges of which you will draw a border with a pencil, you may have an uneven one. Inside the resulting area draw lines, so-called "lines".

Now switch to the pen and start displaying a series of patterns or repeating patterns around the “string”. So you drew zentangl. The process is designed to stimulate the ritual of creation and leaves room for human error - nothing can be erased, these are the rules. Traditionally zentangl black and white, but many approve and experiments with color. The whole process should take no more than 15 minutes, you can repeat it whenever you want. Keep on hand 9-centimeter squares, so that with inspiration you can fill them with abstract drawings.

7. Allow yourself

Think of the social and self-imposed pressure that you experience day after day, of personal character traits that you consider to be flaws, of misses in which you see your mistakes. Choose one of these things and in the decorative details, allow it to yourself. If you turn failure into an achievement, you can minimize the feeling of self-dislike, which contributes to the achievement of more important goals. Remember that this is an art project, so make it beautiful.

8. "Write" poem-collage

Do not consider yourself a poet? Then let someone else do the most difficult thing, write the words, and you will pick up material from old books, magazines, newspapers or even letters. Cut out words that pop up in front of you or inspire you. Put them together in a composition as if you were creating a visual collage. You may have a theme or a plot from the very beginning. Or just start working and see where such a word collage will lead you.

9. Create your own unique drawing tool.

Instead of painting for a long time, why not focus on developing an alternative homemade brush? You can make a marking tool, from almost anything: be it a series of toothpicks glued to a cardboard base, or a homemade brush of pompons and yarn. When you finally make yourself a new device for drawing, then partially give up control over the art, which, of course, is in itself also a work of art.

10. Make a box of forgiveness

If there is such a person - including himself - to whom you no longer want to feed negative emotions, try to make a box of forgiveness for him. Decorate it with soothing images and words that can characterize a person or correspond to the desired internal state. You can write on a piece of paper, what is his name, and put in this box, if necessary, the name can be removed or replaced. The act of creating the box will contribute to pleasant memories for whom it is intended.