Arts therapies

Explains what arts therapies are, what they are for, what happens during therapy and how to find a therapist.

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What can arts therapies help with?

Arts therapies can help you manage and cope better with:

  • mental health problems
  • physical health problems
  • difficult emotions
  • difficult experiences, such as historical abuse or bereavement

Arts therapies allowed me to let go of my anxiety and use my imagination for something positive, rather than for thinking up negative situations.

If you have a mental health problem, you may be offered an arts therapy as your main form of treatment, or in addition to other treatments, such as:

As with other types of therapy, your relationship with your arts therapist is important as you will be working together to explore difficult feelings and experiences and learn how to better cope with them.

Arts therapies can be particularly helpful if you:

  • feel distanced from your feelings
  • find it too upsetting to talk about painful experiences, and find talking treatments difficult

My hope is that I make people smile with my art work and through doing art therapies I can challenge my mind to get to a better place.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines recommend that arts therapies should be considered for everyone with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and related problems, such as schizoaffective disorder and psychosis.

For more information, you can read the full guidelines for schizophrenia and psychosis on the NICE website.


This information was published in 2016. We will revise it in 2019.


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