Online Painting Therapy – What is that all about ?


Are you interested in personal growth and creative development?  Are you struggling with issues around mental health, addiction, stress, anxiety, depression, grief, or life changes? Online painting therapy may be an avenue that you could explore in order to improve your life.

Indeed there is a growing online community that uses creative expression as part of a self-help or healing process. Through artwork you can address and work with problems or release emotions. You can externalize thoughts and emotions which you can then addressed by manifesting them on the paper. 

Why Does Art Therapy  Work?

There is plenty of theory around to demonstrate the case, for art therapy, but a real life example is always best. 

A study was conducted a few years ago by two researchers – Haeyan Van Hooren and Hutchemaekers into this very subject.  It set out to identify the  effect of art therapy on groups of people with personality disorders who were going through the recovery process. The researchers studied existing observations by practitioners along with patent testimonials. They then used qualitative study techniques and in-depth interviews with patients in order to collect the data that showed individuals responses to their experience of art therapy. 

Analysis of the data collected enabled the two researchers to map and set our five concepts that were evident across the whole of the data set – 

  1. Perception. Individuals indicated that art therapy assisted them in focusing on the present moment and experience a connection between emotions and body awareness. Perceptions helped to validate emotions and establish a stepping-stone for further personal development.
  1. Personal Integration. By expression through art therapy, individuals  felt that their identity and self-image were more positively strengthened. 
  1. Emotion and Impulses. Art therapy offered a space to experiment with feelings and emotions, thereby increasing confidence.
  1. Change in Behavior. Individuals learned to change their behavioral responses to others through art expression.
  1. Comprehension and Insight. Art expression enabled them to put their non-verbal emotions and thoughts into words.

The extension of art therapy to  online painting therapy is a logical step in this digital world of remote working. Practitioners of the process set it up to give you the same immersive and empowering environment that you would expect to find in a face-to-face situation such as the studio. You would expect to be supported, monitored and be able to ask questions as your session progresses. The clear advantage is the large community that develops once you are involved; shared experiences stimulate creativity. 

Tools of the Trade

Aside from the obvious need for a computer with a camera, you would need sone paints, brushes and paper. Marker pens, crayons, or any type of paint that you like to work with will be fine. 

No need to stress over getting the right tools or materials. You can improvise, for example, using a lid from a jar or plastic container, such as a large yoghurt container. Any plastic knife will do for a pallet knife. 

Relax and enjoy.