Creative Arts Therapy

Creative Arts Therapy

Treatment Options - Creative Arts Therapy

Creative arts therapy, also known as expressive therapy, uses art, music, and dance to help you cope with and process emotional issues. With creative arts therapy, the focus is on using creative outlets to help you express yourself. 

Creative arts therapy can help you explore emotional, social, spiritual, and cultural issues that may be influencing your depression. It can allow you to express yourself creatively and help build self-awareness, emotional well-being, healing, and self-esteem. 

At Options MD, we encourage you to pursue creative arts endeavors outside of formal therapy sessions. Your therapist can help you learn how to be intentional while engaging in creative arts pursuits in order to get the most out of these activities. 

Types of Creative Arts Therapy

There are numerous types of creative art therapy that you can engage in as a form of treating and managing chronic depression. These are all activities that you can pursue on your own, and your Options MD therapist can help ensure that you optimize these activities to get the most benefits possible from them. 

Art Therapy

Art therapy uses visual arts material and media to allow you to express your thoughts and emotions. You may draw, paint, or even sculpt to express your emotions.

Music Therapy

Music therapy uses techniques such as listening to, creating, and reflecting on music to improve your overall health and well-being. 

A therapist will tailor their technique to your unique needs, using music to help you process your emotions. Music is processed through a different pathway than verbal speech and allows you to express yourself differently. 

Listening to and creating music outside of formal guided therapy sessions is still highly therapeutic and recommended. For example, you can sign up for local guitar lessons or attend a local open mic once a week. 

Drama Therapy

With drama therapy, various techniques help you explore and solve personal problems. These include activities such as:

  • Role-play
  • Voice work
  • Storytelling
  • Scriptwriting
  • Puppetry
  • Direction
  • Improvisation
  • Physical theater

Drama therapy allows you to have a safe place to process thoughts, feelings, and experiences without using verbal communication. 

Drama therapy can help you tell your stories, set goals, solve problems, and express your feelings. 

Our therapists can help inspire and guide your search for local drama opportunities in your area, such as a drama class, stand-up troupe, or even a local theater you can join.  

Dance/Movement Therapy

Dance and movement therapy focuses on the idea that your body and mind are connected. Dance therapy uses movement to improve your health and well-being. It is a form of nonverbal communication that can allow you to express yourself and process what you are going through. 

Dance therapy is an effective intervention for depression, anxiety, and cognition. You can sign-up for a local dance class through a dance studio or local gym that offers dance classes.  

Creative arts therapy provides long-term benefits that continue even after therapy is stopped.

Integrative Approaches

Many times, with creative art therapy, more than one type of therapy is combined together in your treatment plan. Sometimes art therapy is used alongside music therapy, or dance and drama therapy are used together. 

An integrative approach allows you to find the type of creative expression that helps you the most. 

Other types of creative arts therapy include play therapy, sandplay therapy, poetry therapy, and bibliotherapy.

How Creative Therapy Works

Creative therapy can be either a time-limited or an ongoing therapy method. At Options, your therapist can help guide you in choosing artistic endeavors that you will enjoy and provide you with advice on how to get the most out of these activities. 

You can engage in creative endeavors one-on-one, such as by painting at home by yourself, or in a group setting, such as by enrolling in a dance class or joining a local theater group. 

Many people enjoy engaging in creative therapy on an ongoing basis, as it can provide you with a creative and expressive outlet. 

Benefits for People with Depression

Creative art therapy can provide many benefits to people with depression. It is a worthwhile therapy option to add to your toolkit.

Improved Mood

Engaging in creative endeavors has been shown to naturally improve your mood. It can be a great way to take your negative feelings and change them into positive ones. 

Stress Relief

Engaging in creative endeavors is a great way to reduce stress on the body. Reducing stress when you are dealing with depression can help you relax.

Reduce Anxiety

It is estimated that 50% of people with a depression diagnosis also have an anxiety disorder. Creative art therapy allows you to focus on something positive and reduce anxious feelings.

Increase Happiness

When you engage in creative endeavors, you create something and experience a feeling of success. This releases dopamine, a signaling chemical in the brain, which can help increase your feelings of happiness. 

Process Emotions

Creative art therapy gives you space to process your emotions and feelings. It can provide a safe space to express yourself in a non-verbal manner. 

Get the Help You Need for Depression with Creative Arts Therapy

Treating depression isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. The treatments that you need will be unique to your needs and experiences. At Options MD, we understand. We explore 200 science-backed treatment options to create a custom treatment plan for your depression. 

As a patient at Options MD, we can help connect you with a therapist who has experience with the creative therapy you’re interested in. 

Our Options MD therapists can also help you plan and engage in creative pursuits outside of therapy. Engaging in the creative arts can be therapeutic even when the activities are not led by a therapist. 

You are not alone. We also started the largest free Facebook community of people with severe and treatment-resistant depression. It is a safe, collaborative, and supportive place to learn about better medication options and leading-edge treatments. Join today to get access to qualified doctors and find friendship and support.

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