Art Therapy is the combination of creative expression and the introspective nature of Psychology, creating a new and different way to learn about oneself. Through art therapy, the simplest artistic activities such as painting, drawing, or dancing can provide a different perspective to understand the complex issue(s) that someone may be facing.
Art therapy can be offered in an individual or a group format. In an individual art therapy session, the art therapist identifies the client’s needs, helps the client set therapeutic goals, and develops appropriate intervention plans to help the client achieve their goals. In Group Art Therapy, an art therapist can observe an individual produce art to express themselves and have that individual watch other people do the same thing. This allows the individual to understand the perspective of their peers and (consciously or unconsciously), develop them into a better version of themselves, with a stronger understanding of their emotions and thoughts.
Regardless of artistic ability, the benefits of art therapy, in the presence of an art therapist, can be very helpful. An individual’s creative expression can deal with complex ideas, emotions, or experiences to overcome what once caused them mental or physical harm.
The benefits of Art Therapy as an intervention method for individuals with mental health disorders have been studied more than before in the last decade. Individuals with ADHD often struggle with attention, emotion regulation, stress and anxiety management, and task management, among other executive functions. Oftentimes, there is also a comorbidity with other disorders (such as a Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and this could cause difficulty in performing daily functions (academically, socially, and professionally) in their life.
Through Art Therapy, individuals with ADHD would learn adaptive skills to adequately communicate their emotions and thoughts, develop skills to regulate their emotions, and become more mindful of their self (time and space). After all, some people are stronger visual learners, which Art Therapy uses to allow individuals to showcase their issue(s) through a different and more unique form of communication.
Ultimately, everyone will experience individual differences regarding the effects of Art Therapy. Despite the wide application and qualitative nature of art as therapy, it considerably has more benefits than issues and is worth attempting as a means to an end. Moreover, Art Therapy improves interpersonal skills like patience and concentration which people with ADHD find difficulty maintaining.