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Free tips and tools for managing your unique brain (and heart)

living and Loving with adhd

living and Loving with adhd

  • Writer's pictureSamantha Diminutto

Art Therapy

What is Art Therapy?


Art therapy combines psychotherapy and the creative process of making art to improve a

persons physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It facilitates self-exploration and

understanding. The creative process is used to express your thoughts and feelings that would

otherwise be difficult to articulate.


You don’t need to be a talented artist to receive its benefits! Art therapy focuses on the process

rather than the end product as you dive into the underlying message communicated through

your art.

Image by Samantha Diminutto, copyright 2023

 

Who can benefit?


Everyone can benefit from art therapy, including individuals, couples, families and groups from

diverse backgrounds and age groups. Art therapists support individuals in problem-solving, improving self esteem, managing stress, developing insights and self awareness, and enhancing interpersonal skills.


Art therapists facilitate a non-verbal means for expression which can be uniquely suited for

individuals who have difficulty with verbal communication due to their age or challenging

experiences such as trauma, cognitive issues or physical health conditions.

Image by Samantha Diminutto, copyright 2023

 

Art Therapy and ADHD


Art therapy can provide a unique space for people with ADHD to gain control over their

environment. Adherence to schedules, rules, and norms of time and organization can be

difficult for people with ADHD. These struggles can lead to feelings of discontent and a sense

of failure. Art therapy lacks “rules” to conform to, therefore a person with ADHD can make their

own rules while processing intense emotions and frustrations. This can strengthen self esteem

and build confidence. In addition, the creative process incorporates problem solving, develops

the building blocks for focusing attention, and promotes purposeful and flexible decision

making.

Image by Samantha Diminutto, copyright 2023

 

Perfectionism & Emotional Regulation


It is difficult to express your true thoughts and feelings when you are focused on “being

perfect”. Overcoming perfectionism involves learning to accept yourself as you are while

managing the difficult emotions that arise from imperfection. Suppressing these difficult

emotions can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems. Art therapy

provides a safe space to freely express, process and release your emotions without rules or

judgement.

Image by Samantha Diminutto, copyright 2023

 

Trauma


Trauma affects people of all ages, races and cultures, and creates a profound impact on a

persons identity, mind, body and spirit. Research shows that trauma is stored in the brain as a

sensory experience, with fragments of images and sensations, rather than a cognitive,

coherent narrative. A sensory experience such as art therapy can therefore provide a vehicle

for externalizing and releasing traumatic experiences. Art making is also a pleasurable and

relaxing experience which can help increase the ability to tolerate stressors while reconnecting

people with positive emotions and inner strengths.

Image by Samantha Diminutto, copyright 2023


Samantha Diminutto is a Certified Clinical Counsellor with a Masters degree in Psychotherapy and a specialization in Art Therapy. Aiding humans in communicating, connecting and self actualizing is their passion.


If you are interested in art therapy, connect with ARC’s friendly neighbourhood art therapist!



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