Anxiety has been around for centuries, but only in the 1940s was fully recognized as a mental illness, and has been on the raise since the  1990s. It is one of the most common disorders in the U.S. and more common in females than male (Chambala, 2008). There are a lot of treatments for anxiety one treatment that is being used is art therapy.

Some cases of anxiety can come from trauma, which is a sensory experience rather than a cognitive one. Art therapy helps by not only providing a way to express their feelings but also way to externalize any traumatic memories (Gerteisen, 2008). Art therapy can be very beneficial for children and adults who have anxiety to able to help express and visualize their feelings to others and to communicate with others as well.

Art therapy has been around since the beginning of time, and started to become a big part of the psychology field in the 20th century. Art therapy helps people who suffer with anxiety by  allowing them to be more creative and more self-expressive (Chambala, 2008).  One thing that art therapy does that most other therapies don’t is to make the patients feel more relaxed. This is done by having the patient create a abstract picture without feeling pressured to talk to the psychologists.

Through the years, artwork by people with mental illnesses of any kind have received recognition for their works. In 1985 Hans Prinzhorn collected 6,000 artworks from his patients and traveled with them to different museums.

A picture painted by an unknown artist who suffered from anxiety



Chambola, A. (2008). Anxiety and Art Therapy: Treatment in the Public Eye. Art
Therapy:Journal of the American Art Therapy Association
25(4), 187-189

Gerteisen,J.(2008). Monsters, Monkeys, & Mandalas: Art Therapy With Children Experiencing the Effects of Trauma. Art Therapy:Journal of the American Art Therapy Association 25(2), 90-93

Packard,S. (1980) The History of Art Therapy Education. Art Education 4, 10-13.


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