Is adult coloring a form of art therapy? This has been a subject of controversy over the last year, with many people claiming that coloring was too simplistic to have any therapeutic value. However, Dover recently announced that the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) formally supports the idea that coloring is beneficial as a self-care activity.
The AATA is an organization representing over 5,000 practitioner and student members. An integrative mental health profession, art therapy combines theories of human development and psychology with visual arts and the creative process to address a range of treatment goals. Art therapists can help people resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight. Action-oriented and experientially based, art therapy is conducted with individuals, couples, families and groups in diverse settings, including hospitals, schools, psychiatric and rehabilitation facilities, mental health clinics, wellness centers, senior centers, veteran’s clinics, correctional institutions and other community facilities.
“The adult coloring phenomenon is reintroducing art as an important component of health and wellness,” says Dr. Donna Betts, ATR-BC, AATA President. “The AATA has been impressed by many of Dover’s publications, especially the Creative Haven® coloring books for adults,” adds Dr. Betts. “Obviously, anyone who requires professional art therapy services should visit the AATA website for more information, but these books provide a pathway to the life-affirming pleasures of making art.”
[Image is a page from the free Lilt Kids Whimsical Flowers Floral Designs and Patterns adult coloring book. ]