By: Angelique Poisson, MFTi
Art Therapist & Case Manager
Resilience Treatment Center
Have you ever wondered how to create meaning in your life? Would you like to create space to experience positive emotions? Art Therapy can be used to practice meaning-making and elicit positive emotions through a tangible process. When engaging in creativity, we are able to reach within ourselves and utilize our innate strengths and self-expression in the present moment.
Positive Psychology, “holds the presumption that human beings are inherently good and motivated to reach their full potential.” By focusing on the positive, we can capitalize on our strengths to alleviate anxiety and live a more meaningful life. Additionally, research suggests that positive psychology, “may actually mediate the experience of distress, lessen the damage of disease, and serve as protective factors in psychological and physical health.” Art Therapy can challenge insecurities and create opportunities for capitalizing on strengths, uncovering insight, and increasing happiness and positive emotions.
Meaning is created by forming connections with one’s personal strengths, life events, and communities. The art therapy process encourages intuitive expression in a supportive and safe community. By fostering creativity, art therapy encourages us to go deeper, trust our self-expression and gain new insight through the creative process. Additionally, the art product created holds metaphors and insight to our strengths.
Bottom Line: Stay positive and create! Research shows that artwork created in response to positive intentions not only enhances positive emotions, but also decreases stress. By staying present with the process, we can let go of any expected outcome and enjoy the movement and expression that is happening in the present moment.
Wilkinson, R. A., & Chilton, G. (2013). Positive Art Therapy: Linking Positive Psychology to Art Therapy Theory, Practice, and Research. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 30(1), 4-11.