Art Therapy as a Recovery Tool

Topic: Psychiatry
Words: 1155 Pages: 4


Since ancient times, people have tried to capture the most critical moments in civilization’s development through various forms of creativity. Art has been used for dialogue between cultures and, as well as religion, to explain life and natural phenomena that defied scientific justification (Hauser, 2018). Different kinds of art, including visual (painting, sculpture, architecture), performing (dance, theater, cinema), literature, and other media (music, speech), are an essential part of human culture.

Culture Summary: Geographical and Historical Background

Art has always been one of the potent tools used by individuals for various purposes. With society’s evolution and human thought, people acquired different kinds of art that could meet their new requirements and demands. Moreover, it has new features depending on regions’ location and history because of the differences in mentalities and value systems (Hauser, 2018). These differences preconditioned the diversification of art as the universal method that can be used for helping in various situations. People’s effects are also altered depending on a particular type of artwork, its background, and major features under these conditions.

The planned project’s central aim is to outline how these forms affect health and their therapeutic effect. It means that the geographic and historical peculiarities peculiar to the region and its art also become vital as the major determinants of various art therapy methods’ results and success. Consideration of culture, mentality, ethnicity, and value systems are central for selecting the appropriate intervention and its ability to generate positive outcomes. For this reason, the consideration of these aspects is vital for the planned project.

Geography and History: A Cultural Perspective of Health and Illness

Views on Art and Disease

Art therapy’s positive effect is linked to the patients’ visions of disease and various forms of art as the cure for this disease. Thus, depending on the type, genre, and method of demonstration, creativity can leave completely different individuals’ impressions (Koureas, 2017). It also means that its ability to affect illness depends on cultural representations and visions. For instance, for cultures with severe living conditions and complex environments, art might have weaker therapeutic effects because of their lifestyles and mentalities (Kapitan, 2017). Simultaneously, for nations with traditionally strong links to different kinds of art, the observed positive effect is stronger.

It can also be explained by the specific vision of health and illness embodied in multiple artworks and masterpieces (Kapitan, 2017). In such a way, the ability of art to promote positive change in people’s psychological states is correlated with the cultural perspective on health and illness. It depends on the historical and geographical background. Investigating these effects, it is fundamental to focus on how people perceive illness through the prism of art and what tools can help them visualize the problem and resolve it.

Cultural Communication

Art as a Recovery Tool

One of the meaningful aspects of any culture is its vision of art and its role in a person’s everyday life. According to Western beliefs and value systems, creativity and various fine art forms are considered strong recovery tools that can help people express their feelings and emotions (Kapitan, 2017). From this perspective, the role of art and its therapeutic effect increases. It becomes a means of cultural communication that provides bearers of the same culture to share their thoughts and moods, which is vital for attaining psychological stability and avoiding being depressed. That is why growing from people’s values, beliefs, and art also becomes an aspect that cultivates these visions and contributes to the gradual improvement of the nation’s state of the nation (Kapitan, 2017).

The recovery power of art comes from its ability to reflect persons’ current conditions and strong communicative power, providing people with a chance to show things vital for them or change their moods by using different art forms. In such a way, the art facilitates the existing values and, at the same time, moderates them by improving the psychological state of the nation.

Comparison: Culture and Western Healthcare and Healthcare Service

Art and Western Healthcare

The Western healthcare sector can be determined as having a strong bond with art. The existing paradigm accepts the strong therapeutic effect on people and its ability to reduce stress, anxiety and impact psychological states (Chiang et al., 2019). Several factors evidence this assumption. First, the Western culture has always accepted the critical importance of art forms and creativity to struggle with negative emotions and manage them. Second, the healthcare service in the western world is also affected by this belief as they recognize the idea that some states can be managed by using art instead of medications (Chiang et al., 2019).

Under these conditions, the existing model provides much space for implementing art therapy as a practical tool to assist people and change their negative moods or depressive states. Simultaneously, the healthcare sector’s position about art therapy contributes to the improvement of its image among populations and its further spread. It is nowadays viewed as the approach that can be an alternative to using medications and assist people in difficult states. For this reason, the given system presupposing the belief related to art and cultural peculiarities of Western healthcare acts as a single entity.

Cultural Care Plan

Art and Individual’s Psychological State

In such a way, art’s power as a strong therapeutic tool comes from the historical background, geography, culture, and beliefs. The existing body of research offers credible evidence that art can have various effects on a person’s psychological states and precondition the emergence of moods and behaviors (Chiang et al., 2019). The presence of some visual arts in hospitals is known to reduce pain in cancer patients. However, the influence of different forms of art and their ability to assist patients in their recovery remains under-researched. In the context of healthcare, there is a separate area of art therapy in which a patient uses art for medicinal purposes (Kapitan, 2017).

This can be a passive observation and contemplation of paintings, performances, films, listening to music, and direct participation in the process (Chiang et al., 2019). The art therapy phenomenon’s primary purpose is to switch a person’s attention from his psychological state to the operation of creation. For this reason, there are multiple opportunities for future research focused on the determination of factors that might indicate the effectiveness of various measures and help to establish an approach useful in different situations (Chiang et al., 2019). There are limitless opportunities for using creativity as an intervention for people with mental diseases or fast changes in psychological states, which means that these effects should be investigated.


Art therapy can be a powerful method to manage psychological states and help people cope with their problems. Hospitals embrace various visual art forms to assist patients in healing their psychological stress as they undergo medication. Art is a phenomenon that plays a unique role in promoting people’s general wellbeing. Being linked to nations’ culture, past, and mentality, it has multiple applications.


Chiang, M., Reid-Varley, W. B., & Fan, X. (2019). Creative art therapy for mental illness. Psychiatry Research, 275, 129-136. Web.

Hauser, A. (2018). The philosophy of art history. Routledge.

Kapitan, L. (2017). Introduction to art therapy research. Routledge.

Koureas, G. (Ed.). (2017). “Art, history and the senses”: 1830 to the present. Routledge.

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