ANXIETY DISORDERS refers to thought and behavioural issues that result from excessive fear and anxiety. Fear is best described as an emotional response to a real or perceived threat, whereas anxiety focuses on the anticipation of a future threat. Anxiety may often be described by words such as stress, worry or nervousness.
Every day we live under some level of pressure where anxiety can sometimes help us to prepare for difficult or stressful times. We can often regulate the feeling of anxiety through relaxation techniques, hobbies, exercise, entertainment or talking with someone. In a best case scenario, the feelings of anxiety are shortlived and we return to our normal day to day routines without any major disruption.
However, in some cases, these levels of anxiety are more intense and more prolonged and as a result, the effect on our lives becomes more disruptive and abnormal. Anxiety is classified as a disorder once the symptoms of anxiety become chronic and disrupt our ability to function in our daily lives.
Anxiety is not always easily defined in terms of behavioural experiences. One person may initiate coping mechanisms that are internalised through poor concentration, poor memory, and avoidance behaviours. Alternatively, another person may exhibit anxiety externally through physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, sweaty hands, and physical weakness.
Art Therapy can benefit clients by initially diffusing a stressful environment in the therapy setting. Techniques will help the client feel calm and able to focus on the task at hand. Once this anxiety is defused, the client is then more open to process thoughts, emotions and assess behaviour.
Art therapy can also assist anxiety by improving self esteem, resolving problems, expressing feelings, problem solving and goal setting which aids in working towards improved thinking patterns.
* Check back regularly for updates to this page as we add more useful resources.
Subtype anxiety disorders
ANXIETY DISORDERS (subtypes)
- Anxiety Disorder Due to Another Medical Condition
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Other Specified Anxiety Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Selective Mutism
- Separation Anxiety Disorder
- Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)
- Specific Phobia
- Substance/Medication-Induced Anxiety Disorder
Resources for Anxiety
We’re working on an Art Therapy Workbook for Anxiety that is focused on a 6 week program.
The workbook includes:
- art therapy exercises
- client notes
- session breakdown