Art Workshop For Persons With Disabilities (PWDs), Organized By NIMHANS

Art Workshop For Persons With Disabilities (PWDs), Organized By NIMHANS

Art therapy is an integrative approach where an individual could express themselves artistically to improve their mental health and well-being. It aids in channelling stress, anxiety, fear and all the incomprehensible and unarticulated emotions into an action that is neither destructive nor harmful to themselves or others. It also brings out all the repressed memories. This is not a new-age technique, art therapy has been in practice since World War days, where the soldiers after long days, weeks, months or years of warfare, would express their pain, turmoil, grief, regrets and anxiety through some expression of art. The veterans suffering from trauma-related disorders also seemed to indulge themselves in recreational activities such as sculpting, making music, writing poetries, reading and singing them, drawing, painting, etc to heal from the pain of trauma. They felt this more comfortable and adaptable to do rather than sitting through traditional counselling sessions or undergoing medical interventions. Because this enabled them to express their feelings better which were otherwise difficult to articulate. 

Art therapy is known to help patients suffering from the following conditions:

  • Problems with self-esteem, self-identity or self-image

  • Emotional difficulties

  • Social problems

  • Behavioural disorders

  • Neurodevelopmental disorders

  • Attachment disorders

  • Eating disorders

  • Trauma and stressor-related disorders

  • Terminal illnesses such as cancer and AIDS

Senior citizens and prisoners are also known to pick up artistic hobbies to calm their nerves and to distract themselves. Art therapy could range from mindless doodling to expressing themselves in abstract forms. The participants needn’t be artistic or have had hobbies since childhood, they can engage in self-expression through art at any phase of their life. They can choose to keep it achromatic or use colours. They can just use simple stick figures or lines to represent what’s running in their mind or use complicated shapes and forms. Art therapy is not only drawing or painting, it could be origami, playing around with clay, and sculpting, knitting and crocheting, making collages, etc.

Research also mentions that engaging in art activates reward pathways in the brain, lowers the levels of stress, anxiety or depression, reduces pain, handles mood swings, dealing with traumatic experiences, gains a sense of control, keep one grounded and positively improves our overall mood.


An art workshop has been organised by NIMHANS for individuals with mental and behavioural difficulties where the patients with mental and behavioural difficulties exhibiting artistic expression, their accomplishments, and their passion and life dependency have been applauded. It is an art workshop conducted for 5 days on a national level for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs). The department of empowerment of persons with disabilities and the ministry of social justice and empowerment will also be involved in the event. The 25 participants chosen out of 50 applicants from across the country will be guided by the experts who have created exciting feats in the art from Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath (KCP). The exhibition to be organized in NIMHANS on Friday will showcase the two art pieces created by each of them and a similar event to be conducted at the end of the year is planned to showcase the artworks for sale. This workshop aims to bring out participants’ non-verbal forms of expression, and recognize and value them.

About the Author

Janani Vaiyapuriappan
Clinical Psychology Aspirant.

I am a passionate writer right from the years I found my love for the expression of words. My passion for writing initially began with writing essa

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