Creative expression has long been known to have an uplifting effect on people. Creativity is often a hallmark trait of those with mental or emotional differences. Many of the world's greatest artists have been diagnosed or shown signs of of this. This includes writers, painters, singers and actors and all other areas of art. It only makes sense that working with this creative tendency can aid in easing the symptoms of those individuals who seek help for emotional issues.
Art therapy is part of nearly every health care community, from individual classes to whole programs that devote themselves to creative expression in various forms. Society now recognizes the quality of art that comes from these programs and has begun showcasing many artists from such programs on a larger scale, such as citywide art competitions and showcases. A great example of this is the Center City Arts program, which offers classes and provides members to display their work at various times throughout the year.
Having the opportunity to share a creation and even sell it helps provide positive self-esteem to the artists. In a life that may be confusing and full of negatives, the chance to excel in one area more often than not carries over into other areas of a person's life. Positive self-esteem is one of the core foundations needed to develop mental healthiness and without it, progress in healing is often slow or non-existent.
There is no need, however, to be part of an organized art therapy program. Any individual can be encouraged to express creativeness. The simple act of being able to feel positive about what is created is the essential part of the process. Individuals with mental health issues need to be encouraged to express themselves in a positive manner and art, in its many forms is one of the best ways to accomplish this. It is a safe way to release emotions of any kind, enabling the individual to heal from negative emotions and start to embrace the positive in life.