An artist works with concepts, memories, and emotion to evolve a meaningful creation. Art does not show only a snapshot of the moment, it brings to view the inner light captured in one’s heart.
When art is used as therapy, doctors work with professional artists to help stroke patients, the severely ill, and post traumatic stress survivors. find a new way to communicate through the use of visual media: paints, clay, pencil, and so forth.
Researchers have found that art therapy is highly beneficial for stroke patients who have difficulty with communication, and it is one means by which such patients can express their feelings, and be assisted in regaining their facility with language.
Many stroke patients produce what resembles abstract art. They create spirals, cubes, and other shapes in a seemingly random array of colors.
But those shapes and colors are NOT actually random. The human brain has been found to retain within it an almost symbolic, yet primal, perception of the world and past experiences, all displayed in distinguishable shapes, colors and patterns in the patient’s efforts. Doctors work with professional artists, who understand the visual, to communicate with the patients and interpret the work during therapy. These same patients recover much more quickly than those without primal art expressions.
An artist, I have had firsthand experience in witnessing the benefits of art therapy for someone dear to me.