RIYADH — The Saudi Ministry of Health has approved the start of establishing and governing art therapy clinics in government health clusters during the year 2024, Akhbar 24 reported quoting well-informed sources.

Art therapy is considered as one of the highly advanced therapeutic methods in the world for treating psychological illnesses. According to the American Art Therapy Association, this therapy uses non-verbal communication to express feelings and thoughts. The art therapist chooses appropriate artistic methods to demonstrate the patient’s emotional state, and encourages the patient to form metaphorical and symbolic language that restores building up his personality.

Art therapy is a mental health profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship.

The association noted that art therapy, facilitated by a professional art therapist, effectively supports personal and relational treatment goals as well as community concerns. This therapy is used to improve cognitive and sensorimotor functions, foster self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivate emotional resilience, promote insight, enhance social skills, reduce and resolve conflicts and distress, and advance societal and ecological change.

Art therapy is used most commonly to treat mental illnesses and can aid in controlling manifestations correlated with psychosocially challenging behaviors, slowing cognitive decline, and enhancing the quality of life. Art therapy can help people express themselves more freely, improve their mental health, and improve interpersonal relationships. The basis of art therapy is established on the idea that people can recover and feel better via artistic expression.

This therapy reinforces the belief that every person has the ability to express themselves creatively, and the therapeutic process itself is more important than the final result, as the therapist’s focus is on the patient’s therapeutic requirements for expression rather than the aesthetic merits of the artwork.

Art therapy procedures include six stages: exploration, relationship building, internal emotional expression, self-realization, interpersonal relationships, and a person’s place in his environment.

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