Everyone knows that adult coloring books are the new craze these days. From stocking stuffers to a way to decompress after a long day at work, these creative and sophisticated art journals are a favorite hobby to many! Art therapy is a new and upcoming career field and, as an art therapist myself, it is so interesting that the general public is either A. somewhat familiar with this new profession (but has skewed ideas as to what art therapy actually is all about) or B. has never heard of it before. I am here to tell you that there is a trend between the new adult coloring book fad and the concepts behind the field of art therapy.
I like to describe art therapy as a “nonthreatening form of self-expression.” Art therapy allows a person of any age and background to discover insight into problematic or concerning areas of their life through creativity in order to progress toward solutions and healthy outcomes. When entering into a page in an adult coloring book (or any coloring book for that matter), an individual is given a tranquil and safe space in time to engage in the creative process that can relax the mind and emotions. Many art therapy directives support the goal of putting the mind at ease and promoting a safe environment to meditate on life's troubles. On the flip side, a goal for expressive therapies may be to enter into a relaxing distraction in order to take a break from anxieties in life.
With all this being said, any creative hobby (be it cooking or gardening or crafting of some sort) has the potential to provide a calm time for one to experience escape from (or insight into) the stressors of life. Adult coloring books and other forms of creative therapies and hobbies are interrelated with the same ultimate goal of healing.