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Best Art Therapy Blogs To Keep You Emotionally Healthy

Best Art Therapy Blogs To Keep You Emotionally Healthy

If you’ve ever been involved with art therapy, you understand how restorative it can be. It has the ability to drive creativity, restore your sense of well-being, and help you overcome anxieties, conflicts, and even addictions. And while art therapy was once only practiced in select settings – such as hospitals, wellness centers, and rehab facilities – its reach is much broader now.

Research clearly shows the positive impact of art therapy on emotional health and it’s important that you find ways to expose yourself to this powerful therapeutic practice as frequently as possible. Thankfully, there are a number of online resources designed to make art therapy accessible and convenient. In fact, you may want to bookmark the following blogs.

1. Psychology Today Arts and Health

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    This blog is managed by Cathy Malchiodi, an experienced art therapist and author of 13 books on the subject, and offers a very educated look at “the integrative, reparative and restorative powers of the arts.” While content is not published on a daily basis, the posts that are published are thorough, unique, and interesting. Those who are new to the blog will enjoy reading past posts, which are still quite relevant today.

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    2. Adventures in Art Therapy

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      This blog is managed by another registered and licensed art therapist, Lacy Mucklow, and is an excellent resource for keeping up to date on the latest trends and developments within the industry. There are plenty of posts to read through, as well as lots of helpful links and resources on the right-hand side of the site. These external links are resourceful for those looking to learn more about specific aspects of art therapy and related topics.

      3. Park West Gallery Blog

      park-west-gallery

        While it’s not a dedicated art therapy blog, the Park West Gallery Blog is an excellent resource for those interested in supplementing their study of art therapy with bigger industry news and developments. Park West Gallery is the world’s largest art dealer and, as a result, is seen as an authoritative source on all things art. The blog may indirectly inspire you to see art therapy in a new light.

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        4. Art Therapy Spot

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          The Art Therapy Spot is an extension of licensed therapist Sara Roizen’s professional website. It offers really unfiltered and genuine posts about topics that are important to both therapists and patients within the industry. Roizen does a fantastic job of exploring the artwork she creates and explaining the stories behind her pursuits. It’s a fresh and revealing blog that doesn’t get enough attention.

          5. Inner Canvas Blog
          inner-canvas

            The Inner Canvas blog may be the most professional, organized, and aesthetically pleasing art therapy blog on the list. Not only does it provide fresh perspectives on relevant topics, but it does so through multiple mediums. The blog uses videos, interviews, imagery, and even poetry to connect with readers and help them learn more about the value and importance of art therapy in restorative healing.

            6. Colors of Play

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            colors-of-play

              While this site is not updated frequently any more, the abundance of past posts are extremely relevant and helpful for parents looking to encourage the use of art therapy for their children. The blog is very practical and provides solutions to common problems, answers to frequently asked questions, and hands-on activities designed to help children understand themselves and the world around them. Art therapists who work with children on a regular basis may also find the blog helpful.

              7. Creativity in Art Therapy

              creativity-in-therapy

                This is another fantastic resource on the topic of art therapy for children. Carolyn Mehlomakulu, who is a licensed marriage and family therapist and registered art therapist, manages the blog. She works with a lot with children and adolescents and shares her experiences on this blog. Many of the posts are extremely practical and can be used by parents at home.

                8. Creative Juices Arts

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                creative-juices-arts

                  If you’re looking for an out-of-the-box blog on art therapy, this is it. You’ll notice from the moment that you log on to the site that it’s much different than some of the clinical art therapy blogs and websites you’ll run across. However, it’s a really valuable resources and has a lot of value and wisdom to offer to regular readers.

                  Learn More About Art Therapy

                  Whether you’re a licensed art therapist, a patient who’s used art therapy in the past, or someone who’s simply interested in learning more about this fascinating topic, these blogs are fantastic resources. Bookmark the pages, browse through articles, and expose yourself to new content to get an idea of what art therapy is really like.

                  Featured photo credit: Rowan El Shimi via flic.kr

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                  Anna Johansson

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                  Last Updated on February 21, 2019

                  The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

                  The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

                  In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

                  Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

                  Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

                  Conflicts are literally everywhere.

                  Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

                  Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

                  Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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                  Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

                  Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

                  Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

                  The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

                  Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

                  Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

                  How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

                  Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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                  Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

                  Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

                  How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

                  Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

                  Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

                  Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

                  How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

                  Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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                  Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

                  Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

                  How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

                  Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

                  Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

                  Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

                  How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

                  Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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                  Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

                  Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

                  How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

                  Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

                  Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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