The miracles of “Art Therapy”


Psychology is one of my most favorite areas of interest and I often research about the different advancements in this field and explore them in depth. In the last few years, I have come across the term “Art Therapy” quite a lot of times and it truly intrigued me and thus, I plunged into this topic. After studying about it from various sources, I came to the conclusion that this therapy is extremely fascinating and beautiful in its essence. I believe, as more than half of us are suffering from varying forms of depression (whether we admit it or not) and are surrounded by paranoia and chaos, this therapy might help us on a whole new level. It is a promising area and from my point of view, needs to be expansively familiarized.

Introduction to Art Therapy:

Art Therapy, as the name suggests, is a form of therapy to deal with mental stresses, overcome the communication struggles and plays a vital role in self-analysis, which in other words, is also known as introspection. It helps people contemplate over their own selves, their personalities and helps in figuring out who they really are. This therapy makes use of colors and artistic techniques to counter these issues, which most of the times, act as a barrier in the flow of our daily life.

Origination of Art Therapy:

According to “About Health” Art Therapy is being used since thousands of years in multiple ways. People have often used arts to heal their patients. But it actually formulated as a form of therapy in mid of 20th century. Doctors instilled the idea of being creative in their patient’s mind, who was suffering from some sort of mental disorder, and they observed a positive change in them. This encouragement has now led to a complete branch of arts and psychology which is now being practiced all over the world and has changed the lives of thousands of people.

Benefits of Art Therapy:

According to Art Therapy Blog, the benefits are not only bound to people who are exceptionally creative with paper, brushes and colors. Such is the beauty of this therapy that you don’t necessarily have to be a talented artist. You use your own imagination and simply let it flow. You decipher the underlying meaning behind your piece of art; you try to understand your imagination and creativity and thus heal your soul. It works wonders in treating the patients undergoing counseling, rehabilitation and psychotherapy.

For a normal human being, who has fortunately no serious mental disorders, this therapy is a great way of self-exploration. It gives you an insight into your own personality (this is an entirely different topic and it would take ages but we still won’t completely cover it). It improves the mental health and colors plays an intriguing role in emotional uplifting and understanding of personality (color psychology is yet another branch). Art Therapy can be done in the form of a group and it opens new channels of friendly communication with fellow human beings.

For people with severe mental disorders, like schizophrenia or depression due to emotional abuse, a serious disease or PTSD, also immensely benefit from this form of therapy. They actually feel a control over their temperaments; their stress and tension vanishes and after playing around with colors, they feel lightened and their anxiety decreases significantly. Art Therapy has also helped numerous serious cases of bipolar and these people experience an effective result when they perform Art Therapy activities.

As stated by American Art Therapy Association, this form of therapy plays a vital role in building up problem solving skills and increasing the confidence level. It awakens the self-esteem of a person and indulges them into self-awareness. It helps a person develop both phsycially and mentally, by using their imagination and working on their creativity. It opens new channels of exploring interpersonal skills and polishing them.

Art Therapy in the West:

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Compared to the East, the West is taking Art Therapy very seriously. There are various research institutes who are working endlessly to instigate the importance of Art Therapy among common people. To get this knowledge in the hands of a random person browsing through the internet from one corner of the world, special Art Therapy blogs are updated daily and they give creative ideas for experiencing the miracles of Art Therapy within your own home and at your own ease.

Plenty of institutes have started certified programs regarding Art Therapy and many universities are providing graduate and post-graduate programs in this field. Following are some institutes working ardently for the promotion of Art Therapy:

  • Western Sydney University: They are offering Masters in Art Therapy (post grad program) which teaches various visual art forms for therapeutic purposes.
  • University of Central Lancashire (North West England): They are offering MA in Arts along with a Diploma and a Certificate program.
  • University of Chester (North West England): Similarly, this university offers MA in Arts Therapy along with a Diploma and a Certificate program.
  • Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles, California): This university offers Masters in Arts with specialization in Art Therapy.
  • West Liberty University (West Virginia): WLU offers a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Art Therapy. Their whole program is carefully structured keeping in mind the importance of Art Therapy in the future of medical sciences.

Art Therapy in Pakistan:

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Unfortunately, like every other sub-field of psychology, Pakistan lags behind in Art Therapy education and recognition. Although people residing in principle cities like Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad etc are becoming more aware about Art Therapy, there is still a major lack of coverage in this regard. Following are few pakistani universities and organizations where Art Therapy is being endorsed and encouraged:

  • In Punjab University Department of Gender Studies, an informative lecture was organized on the topic of Drama and Art Therapy. The lecture was delivered by Asim Amjad who is an accomplished Art Therapist himself.
  • Art Therapy and Mental Health organization: This is an NGO, run by the aforementioned, Asim Amjad. They are striving hard to promote Art Therapy in Pakistan. This is a fabulous venture with amazing artwork on display.
  • Universal Women Children Art Therapy Association (UWCATA) & Pakistan Bai-ul-Maal (PBM) arranged a joint Art Therapy Workshop under the guidance of Samina Jamshed, for 3000 orphan kids of Pakistan Sweet Homes. The money generated from the exhibition of the artwork by these kids, went to each of the young artists who drew it.
  • Samina Jamshed was also the conductor of an Art Therapy Workshop for 70 school teachers of Convent institutes. They were lectured on tips and techniques to help the kids overcome their shyness and to bring out their inner creativity with the help of colors and art.
  • Ufaq Ehsan is a graduate of NCA, Lahore. She has been working as an Art Therapist for more than a decade now. She has organized various workshops in Pakistan, like Falah Foundation Art Therapy workshop (2005), Aman ka Rasta Art Workshop (2010) and has worked as an Art Therapist in various schools and hospitals of Lahore.
  • For people living in Karachi, T2F needs no introduction. They have also arranged workshops and artistic activities for children to introduce them to Art Therapy miracles. Creative Reflections: An Introduction to Art Therapy was one such workshop which was facilitated by Shazia Mohamad who is an Art Therapy graduate.

Future of Art Therapy in Pakistan:

Art Therapy is meant to stabilize the depressed minds. In the West, significant amount of people have gained knowledge about this particular therapy and are greatly benefitting from it. However, in Pakistan, people consider psychology itself, a taboo area of specialization. This issue should be seriously discussed on educational platforms. Also, mental disorders are increasing day by day, especially due to the sudden unfortunate events that happen in our country. Children and adults alike, are suffering terribly and they miserably go through these ordeals without expressing their troubles. Frequent Art Therapy Workshops and seminars will prove to be a positive action to fight off this negative energy. Similarly, like the West, our universities should start graduate or post-graduate programs in Art Therapy. Or simply, for starters, they should introduce certificate programs. People with an avid interest in arts should be urged to come forward, cooperate in building up a beneficial Art Therapy future in Pakistan and fully endorse its colorful miracles.







A typical desi girl struggles to look ‘perfect’

Hey, ya’all! I know, I know, I haven’t posted anything since a week and you all must be missing me like hell (who misses hell, though? This phrase is so stupid). Any way, the other night, as I was lying on my bed, coaxing my brain to stop thinking and let me sleep, I thought of the girls around the world, trying their very best to look perfect at different occasions. Jokes aside, it’s a real struggle for them. Nah, boys can NEVER understand that. God knows, how much money we girls spend on cosmetics and parlor stuff, and just imagine the broken heart of a girl who spends a zillion on her beauty and even then, she gets a simple “you look nice” (Believe me, to her, it means you’re just OK). So, listen up, desi kurriyo’n. You want to look perfect and hide your natural looks? You want to get rid of your charming dark color? You want to mess with nature? Okay then, read these tips, I’ve simply gathered the most important things, to start off with, which we usually come across on our television screens.

  • Your face is the most important. Wash it with ‘Dove’, takay log baar baar apke moun pr haath pheryn aur tb bhi unka smoothness se dil na bharay.
  • You need to have clean hands. For that, wash your hands with ‘Safeguard‘, takay log ap se bila jhijhak haath milaayen aur unki mamma bhi kuch na keh sakayn.
  • Never underestimate the power of zarra sa ‘Lux‘. Wash your body thoroughly with this soap. Ah, the different aromas…
  • And now the feet. Um, you know what? Wash your feet with all three of them, because *cough*I’veSeenWomenWithFeetBlacker&DirtierThanTheFeetOfThePeopleWhoWorkInMines*cough*
  • When it comes to your hair, first wash them with ‘Head ‘n’ Shoulders‘ to get rid of all the snowflakes. If you like a silky touch, finally, use ‘Sunsilk‘. If you like shiny hair, use ‘Pantene‘. And if you want a professional to take care of your hair, leave it to ‘Garnier.’ Such varieties, much wows.
  • Who can forget the beloved ‘Fair & Lovely‘, count on it to give your skin a fair treatment and fight with the ruddy melanoytes till their last breath! (Oh yeah, talk about being efficient) Also, and this is for all the ladies out there who are 50+ and want to look 16 again, rely on ‘Ponds‘ age miracle to make you feel young once more! *sigh*
  • If you have a lot of body hair, and you’re ashamed of your looking like a fucking gorrilla, get yourself super-hot-waxed! The thing is, ‘Veet‘ only works on smooth skin. It’ll give you a soft touch and wouldn’t let your man spare a second to scratch himself even if he is bloody itchy in the place which-must-not-be-named.
  • If you think you’re worth everything great in this world and you’re the best and bla bla, ‘L’oreal Paris‘ is for you. Apply all their stuff on your face, nails, feet, eyes, lips etc and just wait for the magic. Although, me bata doun apko, itna kuch khareedny k baad apke paas date pr janay k paisay nahi bachaingy.
  • Finally, don’t ever, EVER, forget to apply ‘Revlon‘ deodorant otherwise things might get a bit nasty for you and him. You might need to use 2 bottles of an exquisite perfume and carry an extra with you, specially if you’re living in Karachi because bari kutta garmi hoti hai.

AND THAT’S IT! Isn’t it fucking easy or what? Hah. Okay, on a serious note. Really girls, all this just to look better? I swear, you look much more beautiful without using all this shit. But yeah, waxing is necessary. And clean feet. Honestly. Stop flaunting money on these over-precious cosmetics. Stick to your budget and don’t make the lives of your dads, brothers and HIMs more difficult (than it already is, huhu). You’re all beautiful in your own ways. Even dark has a certain charm which the fair can never have. God made you special in your own way. Cherish your looks and please desi girls, stop comparing yourself with ferangi women (western women, that is). You’re more beautiful than those ladies with translucent skins, I mean where’s the attraction in that? Remember, beauty freaks, you look your best when you look natural. Mark my words. Cheers!

Life: denied

I write this, for the youngsters we lost in the tragic Peshawar incident and who were not given a chance to bloom and show us what they’re capable of doing for our country. This is the least I can do for them and their families.

Killing those innocent children merely ignited more sparks among the masses resulting in even harsher measures taken against the terrorists. These terrorizing bastards will never win, God is with us. These kids are martyrs. They’ll never die.

No words of mine can be a perfect condolence for those families. No words of mine can be a perfect apology from those little angels. These are just some words that were born in my heart and mind while I imagined their faces earlier, what they would’ve been thinking and doing, as they got ready for the bloody day.

May their souls rest in peace.

A perfection that you can never envision,

A face so happy, so fully crimson,

A delighted child, basking in the sun,

No worries of this worldly prison,

The joys of school, the company of friends,

Enjoying the colors of every season,

Under the shades of the green,

Doing homework and revision,

Full of innocence, love and dreams,

Never hating, no thoughts of treason,

What won’t I give to get back those times,

The childhood days, fragments of my vision.