Creative Arts Therapy for PTSD

Creative PTSD

Creative arts therapies for PTSD include art, music, drama, and body oriented therapies. These creative art therapies for PTSD are different techniques that all believe that thoughts and feelings about trauma are represented without verbal descriptions or using words to describe the actual event. Auditory and visual actions are used to symbolize the pain and suffering that can result from PTSD, for instance fear, horror, loneliness and distrust. The process of merely expressing oneself is more important than the finished product in creative arts therapy for PTSD.

Creative Arts Therapy for PTSD – Arts Therapies

Art therapies involve patients using something like painting, drawing or collage to represent their feelings or emotions related to the trauma. The creative art can also be used as a jumping off point to begin talking about the traumatic experiences to a therapist or group. Art therapy is great for allowing people to know they are not alone in their anger and grief and also showed them that they can tolerate the emotions that are connected with the memories of the trauma.

Creative Arts Therapy for PTSD – Music Therapies

Music therapies get patients to use music in different ways in order to facilitate emotional expression in a very lighthearted and easygoing environment. Some music therapies would be playing music, beating a drum, listening to and sharing songs. Playing music allows patients with PTSD to learn how to self-regulate emotions and form connections with others. Music therapy that involve listening to music are good starting points for discussions based on the thoughts that come to mind while listening to the music.

Creative Arts Therapy for PTSD – Drama Therapies

Drama therapies create a safe and playful environment where patients can act out any anxiety or conflict they may be feeling due to their PTSD. The goal of drama therapy is to bring out a patient’s emotions and provide a starting point for which their anxiety can be expressed and the stigma of those emotions can be removed. Drama therapies allow patients to act out confrontations or the traumatic event in a safe and comfortable place.

Creative Arts Therapy for PTSD – Dance and Body Movement Therapies

Dance and body movement therapies believe that negative emotional experiences are represented in the body in the form of tension and pain. So PTSD must be processed physically with movement and dance. With dance and movement the unconscious conflicts can become more aware. Dance and body movement therapies usually begin with relaxing the patient and then slowly increasing the movement. Some examples of body movement therapies can also include acupuncture, where negative memories are stored, or tapping of the body to relieve stress and to create balance in the patient’s life.

Creative Arts Therapy for PTSD – Nature Therapies

Nature therapies involve a bunch of different activities that include relaxing and creative approaches that involve nature. Some examples of nature therapies would be gardening and wilderness expeditions.

There are many creative arts therapies for PTSD and all of them work in helping with the symptoms associated with PTSD. How effective creative arts therapies for PTSD are really depends on the unique circumstance and the unique person. One person might respond better to painting and another to playing music.

Source:

http://www.artandhealing.org/wp-content/uploads/PTSD-SMYTH_NOBEL_White_Paper_NOV-2012.pdf