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Art Therapy for Trauma: Complete Guide


For decades, art therapy has been used to heal and overcome PTSD. Art helps express emotions in a safe and controlled space, where feelings of overwhelming trauma are stored or managed. For this reason, a great number of psychologists recommend art therapy for trauma.

If you, or someone you care about, are experiencing signs of trauma or PTSD, consider getting a paint by numbers kit. It’s a great self-care activity that’s proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and improve quality of life.

How Does Art Therapy Help With Trauma?

There are times where words simply aren’t enough to express the great pain and suffering trauma victims may feel. This is why art therapy is an effective alternative to talk therapy.

According to art therapist Dr. Gretchen Miller, art is a powerful way to safely contain and separate the fearful experience of trauma. She also states that art safely gives survivors a voice to express emotions, memories, and thoughts when words, simply, are not enough.

It also helps that traumatic experiences are stored in the brain’s right hemisphere, compared to speech, which is found in the left. The right hemisphere of the human brain controls creativity, intuition, nonverbal cues, and visualization.

As a result, those suffering from PTSD often find it easier to draw or paint their trauma rather than talk about it. This is especially true with abuse victims who are forced to keep their trauma a secret and “not tell” anybody about it.

Art therapy also grounds victims to reality. Many of those who live with PTSD find themselves dissociating or disconnecting from their bodies, mind automatically reliving their traumatic experience. This often occurs because they chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies.

Art therapy works so well because it allows trauma patients to control artwork outside themselves and relearn that their bodies are safe. It helps victims begin their healing process without being forced to relive terrible experiences. Instead, they’d find internal strength through alternative coping strategies like painting, coloring, etc.

What Are the Benefits of Art Therapy For Trauma Victims?

Decades of scientific research have proven that art can not only alter emotions, but also influence neuroendocrine pathways to improve sleep, blood pressure, and immune response. Ergo, art therapy can:

  • Reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, pain, and depression
  • Promote a sense of relaxation and well-being
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Promote a sense of self-accomplishment and personal independence
  • Encourage healthy coping mechanisms and interpersonal skills
  • Help recognize and acknowledge subconscious feelings

5 Best Paint by Numbers Kits to Help Overcome Trauma

As follows are five of the best paint by numbers kits to help overcome trauma, chosen based on the kit’s design, quality, and difficulty.

1. Ifymei Color Lion

ifymei Paint by Number for Kids and Adults Beginner, DIY Gift Canvas Painting Kits for Boys and Girls, 16x20 Inch Colorful Lion [Without Frame]
4,744 Reviews
ifymei Paint by Number for Kids and Adults Beginner, DIY Gift Canvas Painting Kits for Boys and Girls, 16x20 Inch Colorful Lion [Without Frame]
  • ✅ You Can Get - Painting by numbers kit include 1 pc pre-printed textured art canvas (without Framed), 1 set acrylic paints, 1 set...
  • ✅ Diy Oil Painting - This pre-printed textured art painting kit is not finished,which need to paint by yourself and make you feel like a...
  • ✅ Easy To Paint - Paint by numbers suitable for all skills levels adults,beginner, Kids, Student .Follow the instructions, paint by color...

ions signify justice, courage, and strength. Often dubbed as the “King of the Beasts,” the lion symbolizes internal might and power. Color Lion by Ifymei immortalizes these characteristics through this stunning paint by numbers kit.

What I love most about this piece is the fact that it doesn’t come with the typical orange and brown hue of lions. Instead, it depicts a vibrant burst of reds, greens, blues, and purples, to name a few. The lion’s fierce eyes look on with kind understanding and patience, reminding us to be gentle and love ourselves.

The acrylic paints included in this kit are bright with high color reproductions. Plus, it has enough coverage to completely cover the required number with the correct color.

What’s Included In the Kit?

  • One 16 x 20-inch pre-printed art canvas
  • One set of non-toxic acrylic paints
  • Three brushes
  • Hanging hooks
  • Numbered drawing reference

2. Ledgebay Moonlight Bay

Ledgebay Paint by Number for Adults: Beginner to Advanced Number Painting Kit - Fun DIY Adult Arts and Crafts Projects - Kits Include - (Moonlight Bay, 16' x 20' Unframed)
2,568 Reviews
Ledgebay Paint by Number for Adults: Beginner to Advanced Number Painting Kit - Fun DIY Adult Arts and Crafts Projects - Kits Include - (Moonlight Bay, 16" x 20" Unframed)
  • REAL LICENSED ARTWORK - Our paint by numbers for adults with the Ledgebay kit features designs from authentic licensed artwork. The artist makes...
  • ROLLED PACKAGING - When it comes to protecting your paints, nobody does it better than Ledgebay. Their DIY painting by numbers for adults kit has...
  • VACUUM SEALED - With our painting by numbers pack, you can keep your paint fresh and flexible for a long time. The vacuum-sealed design prevents...

Moonlight Bay portrays a profoundly silent night, moon bright and magical against the dark sky. The lake is still without another creature in sight. A lone rowboat sits on the right, while a glowing fire pit steadily burns on the left. It’s nature at its finest—undisturbed and quiet, but oh so full of life.

It makes viewers want to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and sit alone in the middle of nowhere, with only the moon and the trees as their companions. It’s serene, soothing, and relaxing.

This piece from Ledgebay is available in framed and unframed options. It’s exclusively licensed to Ledgebay, so you won’t find a copy of it anywhere else. Best of all, a portion of the proceeds is handed directly to the artist who created it!

What’s Included In the Kit?

3. Tonzom Our Romance Under Umbrella

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Bright and full of life, Our Romance Under Umbrella represents the harmonious magic of the autumn palette.

This piece depicts a couple walking side-by-side in an autumn park under the shelter of an umbrella, brilliantly capturing the beauty of romance. The park is filled with lampposts and trees of all shades and sizes. The gleaming walkway implies that it had just recently rained, filling the world with the earthy scent of petrichor.

In my opinion, Our Romance Under Umbrella symbolizes second chances, persistence, and gentleness. The night is vivid and young, with love lurking right at the corner!

What’s Included In the Kit?

4. Kimily Purple Iris Flowers

Irises symbolize hope, wisdom, trust, and communication. Bees represent personal power, brightness, and community, while ladybugs represent adaptability, fulfilled wishes, and love. All these aspects appear in Kimily’s Purple Iris paint by numbers kit.

With gorgeous shades of purple, blue, and green, this flower art piece is not only harmonious but a sight to behold!

According to Kimily, the finished project can be kept for over 10 years if properly preserved. This makes it a great wall decor or gift, to remind you or the person you love of what the painting signifies.

What’s Included In the Kit?

  • One pre-printed textured canvas
  • One set of acrylic paints
  • One set of brushes
  • Two hooks

5. Paint It! Elegant Bird

Elegant Bird is a beautiful beginner piece that’ll look stunning on every wall. The numbers are easy to read and the fillable spaces are large.

The birds in the image—which I’m guessing are Eastern bluebirds—are sitting atop and inside a birdhouse, while surrounded by pink flowers and green shrubbery. It’s a lovely afternoon day, and the birds are free of duties and worries. It’s a calming piece, as a result it’ll surely give you a bit of release!

What’s Included In the Kit?

Art Therapy for Trauma – Final Thoughts

The therapeutic relationship between art and trauma comes in a form of painting, as well as drawing, coloring, etc. Painting by numbers, when used for art therapy, can be one of the best ways to heal and overcome trauma and PTSD.

Not only does it reduce panic and hypervigilance, but it also provides an outlet to explore reasons why individuals may feel this way.

More than that, paint by numbers helps artists feel a sense of accomplishment, knowing that the art piece hanging on the wall is a result of sheer patience and determination.

CLICK HERE to browse our complete selection of acrylic paint by numbers kits!

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