By: Kelsey Spelich
Alternative therapy, including art, dance and music therapy, widely identified as expressive therapies, has been incorporated into the human healing process since the era of Ancient Greece. The Western medical community formally recognized it during the late 1800s with the advent of psychiatry. In the 1930s and 1940s, the creative arts therapies became more widely known when psychotherapists and artists began to realize that self-expression through nonverbal methods such as painting, music making, or movement might be helpful for people with severe mental illness. In the past three decades, the medical community has more actively embraced and incorporated these more holistic therapies into treating a wide range of maladies. Many individuals who struggle with psychological and physical disabilities find the arts to be not only entertaining, but beneficial to their well-being.