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Art therapy is a specialty that uses art to provide therapeutic and rehabilitative treatment. Art therapy is founded upon the premise that artistic self-expression may improve mental and emotional health. Art therapists, sometimes known as creative art therapists, are therapists, counselors, or psychologists certified in the practice of art therapy. The application of art therapy is broad; art therapists may work in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, veteran's clinics, community centers, schools, and even in crisis centers. Individuals of all ages may benefit from art therapy. Some art therapists primarily work with veterans or patients with chronic diseases. While anyone can participate in art therapy, art therapy may be used to treat individuals with the following conditions:
Art therapy is believed to reduce stress while increasing self-awareness and self-confidence. For some patients, art may be a means to communicate thoughts and feelings. Art therapy can help patients emotionally recover after a traumatic incident or invasive surgery. Additionally, movement from artistic activities may allow physically impaired or injured patients to regain strength and mobility. Art therapy treatments include sculpting, painting, sketching, among many other art mediums.