Mindfulness based art therapy (MBAT) is a relatively new concept that was introduced by psychologist and writer Laury Rappaport in the book “Mindfulness and the Art Therapies” published in 2009. MBAT incorporates art therapy into mindfulness training.
What Is Mindfulness Based Art Therapy?
Mindfulness based art therapy brings mindfulness and art therapy into the same point and converges them. You engage in the process of exploring yourself beyond the limits that you set for yourself with the help of art. MBAT bridges your mind and body and allows you to express feelings you find tough to put into words.
What Are The Benefits Of Mindfulness Based Art Therapy?
A great deal of research has pointed out the numerous benefits of mindfulness based art therapy. Some psychological disorders that can be improved through MBAT include:
- Eating disorders
- Anger issues
- Substance abuse
Research has acknowledged the potential of MBAT in the following:
- Improving psychological stability.
- Increasing emotional awareness.
- Reducing cognitive awareness through which you live less in your head especially when you are under psychological stress.
- Improving the ability to communicate abstract feelings.
- Increased self acceptance.
Some Examples Of Mindfulness Based Art Therapy
Most of the activities related to MBAT are practiced within a therapy setting but you can also implement them at home. Here are some examples of Mindfulness based art therapy techniques.
- Drawing a picture of yourself: This technique trains you in self acceptance. The picture should be made as realistic as possible and you should learn to accept the so called “flaws” that you find in the picture.
- Using art to express emotions: When you draw, sculpt or paint, try to pass on your emotions into your work. Express the events of the week that made you happy or stressed out through your art. Your work will help you identify your unmet needs and hidden emotions that you failed to notice or found hard to express.
- Analyze your feelings before and after creating the art piece: Notice the differences between how you felt before creating the artwork and what you feel after you are done making the artwork.
MBAT can be used to help children who have faced trauma or are hospitalized because of some serious medical conditions. Children may be asked to represent their future by drawing a picture that will be used as a tool for the therapists to get an idea about how the child is feeling.