Frankly, it is not advisable to take something as universal truth just because the très chic French women are doing it or because the press has picked up the story. But in regards to art as therapy, or as reported by The Telegraph, “French women have taken en masse to colouring book,” New York University (NYU) Art Therapy Director Ikuko Acosta is a believer.
Let’s set aside art as therapy for a moment and explain why coloring books are making news.
As reported, French women have taken up coloring, an activity that has long been associated with (and even reserved for) young children, as a mean to de-stress. Bear in mind, these women are not only vocalizing about the therapeutic benefits of coloring, they have also taken to using social media, such as forming groups on Facebook, to share their works as and even where to buy new coloring books and best crayons.
The controversy is two-folds. First, is the idea — coloring for grown-ups — truly effective or a successful marketing move? After all, by adding words like “anti-stress” or “art therapy” on the cover of these coloring books, publishers have boosted sales tremendously. Second, does art therapy really work? What is art therapy?
To answer my question, I visited Ikuko Acosta, Ph.D at her office at the NYU Department of Art and Art Professions. With over thirty years in the filed of art therapy, Acosta has witnessed the field developed. Citing the Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT) by the New York State Education Department, and Board Certified and Registered Art Therapist (ATR-BC) by the Art Therapy Credentials Board as giant milestones, Acosta said these credentials have given her profession an unprecedented level of legitimacy. Continue reading