This August at Fort Tryon, our residents let out their creative side with an art therapy session. Art Therapy is beneficial not just for the elderly, but for everyone. The practice of Art Therapy can be described as an expressive type of psychotherapy, which uses the creative process of creating art to improve one’s mental, emotional and physical well-being. Others have it defined as as understanding the human development psychologically through visual arts and the creative process. Art Therapy helps people delve into their feelings, as well as reduce stress and anxiety. For the elderly, Art Therapy is used as a creative form of therapy for those who suffer from memory loss, or to those who suffer from physical and mental stress.
Some of the benefits of Art Therapy for the aging include:
- It’s a new form of self-expression – some older adults may have difficulty communicating their needs through speaking or writing, an example are those suffering from memory loss. This allows them to explore a new avenue of communication through creation.
- It improves one’s motor-skills/physical functions – creating artwork helps improve body coordination through small movements which would eventually alleviate the pain and an enhance immune system.
- It helps improve one’s cognitive ability – Art Therapy challenges elderly people when it comes to creating art, allowing them to expand their minds and look at things at a different perspective. For those with memory loss, the process of creating might stimulate the senses and bring back forgotten memories.