Is Creation Therapeutic?

   Creation has been shown to be effective in creative arts therapies. A study from 2017 found that “the positive, indirect effect of active creative […] is statistically significant for both outcomes [of] well-being and self-efficacy”. The study made participants complete well-being forms before and after taking part in 8 minutes of “active art-making”, ranging from playing musical instruments, dancing, performing and drawing. This tells us that the act of engaging in an artistic activity can boost feelings of well-being and can be a useful tool in particular therapies.

At its most basic level, taking part in a creative activity or hobby is fun and brings pleasure to the person engaging, regardless of skill level. Taking part in a creative activity can act as a way to leave the real world for a moment. On the other hand, it can also be a way for the participant to channel the feelings and emotions they have through a creative medium. This is perhaps most obviously demonstrated through songwriting, where typically artists will convey a particular emotion or response to what is happening to them personally. Some examples of themes commonly written about include love and heartbreak, but this can also extend to songs about grief or even political movements, defining songs to a particular era in time.

 To the average person, creativity can be used as an outlet from the stresses of daily life and as a way to decompress. Creative activities such as drawing, writing, painting or creating music – to name a few – can also become excellent forms through which you can express your emotions and feelings without talking. The actual process of therapy can be compared to the creative process. In therapy, you most often will talk and lay out your emotions. While drawing an illustration, for example, the drawing does not talk back to you but you are still taking part in that process of laying out your emotions by channelling them through your creative thought process, may that be consciously or subconsciously.

As with most things, the way that creation is therapeutic to you is subjective and can change from person to person, but there is no denying that to the average person, taking part in a creative activity can boost general well-being.


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