Jackie Schuld Art Therapy Blog

19 Benefits of Art Therapy

People ask me all the time how art therapy is different from talk therapy. I was asked so often that I wrote essays that define art therapy and what it’s like in a session.


I think what most people are really wondering though is, “Does it work?”


This was also something I wondered for myself as I became an art therapy graduate student. My textbooks informed me that it worked, but did it really?


Art Therapist Jackie Schuld made a collage of a picture of a woman on a bike and the phrase "she found herself." Jackie Schuld made this picture in her Tucson Art Therapy Studio to show the benefits of art therapy.
"She Found Herself" Collage by Jackie Schuld

As I began working with clients in my internships, I began to see how art therapy helped clients in multiple ways. I’m now an Art Therapist with 2000+ hours of experience and I can without a doubt say there are MANY benefits of art therapy. In fact, it is usually the aggregation of these benefits that leads to significant, lasting change for clients.


Here are some of the benefits that I’ve witnessed. Art therapy…

  1. Provides motivation for a client to work on intense or activating topics

  2. Facilitates calm and relaxation

  3. Promotes internal regulation

  4. Allows for a third witness (the art) to be present

  5. Enables a client to see themself or a specific topic with a different perspective

  6. Offers new insight

  7. Enables a client to open up in new ways

  8. Provides a means to process difficult emotions and experiences

  9. Utilizes multiple parts of the brain at once

  10. Facilitates healing in ways that talking alone cannot

  11. Provides experiences of joy and presence

  12. Helps clients accept new ideas

  13. Increase a client’s interest and attention span

  14. Identifies areas of stagnant energy

  15. Locates the source of malaise

  16. Increases self awareness

  17. Helps clients explore and develop new coping strategies

  18. Increases a client’s ability to communicate

  19. Generates self-motivation for daily life

These benefits are often what leads a client to feel that they’ve "gotten better."

 

Thanks for reading. If you'd like to explore becoming an art therapy client,

you can do so here.

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