When you combine OCD therapy with art, drawing, and clay work, it can help to ease OCD symptoms.
Imagine spending an hour working with clay to create pottery. You can also dip your fingers into paint to make a picture that will be proudly displayed on the fridge.
Art can be more than a hobby. You can even get therapeutic benefits from it.
Art therapy is a great option for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). It can soothe intrusive thoughts, as well as offer many other benefits like reducing anxiety or boosting mood.
Art therapy is not well-researched and has been shown to be effective in treating OCD symptoms.
Research from 2021TrustedSource suggests that art therapy, which mainly includes painting and drawing can ease anxiety and depression symptoms, both of which are common co-occurring with OCD.
A 2020 research review found that 50% of OCD sufferers will be diagnosed with major depressive disorder within their lifetimes. According to a 2015 article, more than 75% people with OCD will be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
OCD, anxiety disorders can often share similar symptoms such as fear and anxiety. OCD was a type of anxiety disorder until the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It is now considered a separate condition.
OCD can often be co-occurring with anxiety disorders such as:
- Panic disorder
- Social Anxiety
- Specific Phobias
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
According to the American Art Therapy Association the following benefits are associated with art therapy:
- Increasing self-awareness
- reducing distress
- Enhancing emotional resilience
- Memory and thinking enhancement
Art therapy doesn’t require you to be an artist, or to have creative talent. It can be a rewarding experience to create art.
Art therapy is a combination of other therapies that can be used to relieve OCD symptoms.
OCD sufferers often have persistent, intrusive thoughts (obsessions), which can lead to repetitive behavior (compulsions).
ERP therapy is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy that is often the most effective. According to the International OCD Foundation, it has the strongest evidence supporting its use.
ERP exposes you to intrusive thoughts, and gives you tools to stop compulsive actions.
ERP may be helped by art therapy. As a form exposure, you may be asked to draw or display your intrusive thoughts. These thoughts can cause anxiety and may be helped by this.
To increase your tolerance, you may draw more explicit and scary images as therapy progresses.
Drawing your thoughts can help children communicate more than they are capable of communicating.
Art Therapy may include many forms of creative expression such as:
- Clay is a great material for working with
- finger painting
- Scribbling and doodling
- Art sculpture
- making collages
OCD treatments often include medication or other forms of therapy. These treatments can be combined with art therapy, which may help reduce anxiety-related symptoms.
Art therapy, along with other mindfulness techniques can help you to reduce the severity of your symptoms.
Art can be done anywhere, even at home.
However, you can still benefit from the therapeutic effects of art therapy by working with licensed professionals who are trained in this field.
Certain materials, like paint, clay or other color types, can trigger symptoms, making them worse. This can be prevented by consulting a professional. These professionals might be found in:
- Private practices
- Medical facilities
- Mental health clinics
- Other settings
You can incorporate art therapy into many types of counseling.
- Individual therapy
- Group sessions
- marital therapy
- Family counseling
To find an art therapist close to you, you can get in touch and we’ll put you in touch with a qualified art therapist. To learn more about the treatment options and support groups that are available in your area, you can check with your insurance provider.
Brian Johnson is current Editor of Vagarights.com and a long-time writer for VAGA. A former psychologist, Brian is passionate about improving mental health and finding ways to stave off cognitive decline. He is an expert on nootropics, cognitive enhancement and biohacking more broadly. You can see his work on Google scholar.