Coloring in My Life: Adult Coloring Books and Art Therapy
When I meet someone there are common questions to start a conversation and occupation typically gets brought up as one of those topics. I share that I am an art therapist and the conversation tends to turn towards the topic of adult coloring books. Unfortunately, several adult coloring books have falsely advertised the professional art therapy field by labeling “Art Therapy” on their coloring books.
Now, I am in support of creativity, but I want to challenge our thinking of creativity. If creativity is seen as independent thinking and has been referred to as “thinking outside the box,” then lets look at what a coloring page is. A coloring page consists of an image that is outlined in a series of objects that you fill in according to the lines already drawn. And if creativity is seen as this “outside the box thinking" then why are we only staying in the parameters of the boxes? Well because the lines are drawn out telling us what to do it gives us predictability, it gives us safety, it gives us control and when complete a sense of accomplishment.
Can coloring be used for a therapeutic benefit when working with an art therapist as part of a creative process to achieve goals? Yes
Can coloring be enjoyable? Yes
Can coloring be fun? Yes