Arts & Entertainment

Art as a coping mechanism

Art therapy is a creative way for everyone and anyone to calm their mind, especially during this stressful time.

2020 is stressful and mental health should be a priority now more than ever. Finding the time and ways to destress can be difficult. While different things work for different people, one approach that seems to be popular with many is the rising concept of art therapy. 

Art therapy is a form of destressing through art such as painting, coloring or drawing. It has been a popular form of coping and calming the mind for everyone from young kids to adults. Concepts range in difficulty levels from doodling — directed at children — to things like adult coloring or diamond painting, where you fill a poster with gems, one at a time. 

There are specific services and organizations that deal with art therapy for specialized cases. Art with Heart, a non-profit organization based out of Seattle, creates programs designed for different age groups and conditions like trauma and adversity. Art with Heart sells curricula and books on their website to teachers, as well as parents, to help their children understand what they are going through by utilizing doodles and drawing prompts.

For example, “Ink About It,” which is collectively written by the therapists that work with the organization, is a book designed for kids between sixth through eighth grade to help them learn how to deal with stress along with recognizing what goals they seek to accomplish. They also have resources to help with grief that cater to all ages. 

Another organization that strives to help people cope with life through art is called Path with Art. This organization is more directed toward adults who are recovering from things like addiction, homelessness and other traumatic events. What’s special about Path with Art is their provision of services to people who come from low to no income families. From art education to access art — or live performances — Path with Art connects all people with the power of art to overcome some of the hardest obstacles in life. 

Art therapists can work in various locations such as schools, hospitals, senior centers and even in their own private practices. No matter where they are the goal remains the same; to help people get through trauma while soothing the mind. From young children to full grown adults, everyone deals with stresses of life, and art therapy may seem more appealing to those who may be reluctant or afraid to speak with a therapist. Art therapy is easily accessible and can even be pretty fun too.