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Incorporating Origami into Art Therapy for Grounding and Mindfulness Practice

Updated: Dec 14, 2022

by Lauren Fallat, LPC LPAT ATR-BC

Origami, the ancient art of paper folding, is finding new life in the hands of artists and therapists alike. Though it can be traced back to Japan in the 17th century, origami is now used as a form of art therapy all over the world. The goal of origami is to create a three-dimensional object from a two-dimensional sheet of paper. Although origami can be used for decorative ornaments, it is also therapeutic. Therapeutic origami has been found to help people with conditions such as autism, ADHD, and dementia.

How Does Origami Fit In with Art Therapy?

Origami is often used in art therapy because it is a very versatile medium. It can be used to create simple or intricate designs, depending on the needs of the client. Additionally, because origami is a quiet activity, it can be used in sessions where more traditional forms of art therapy might be too jarring or overwhelming for the client. It is a great way to relax, focus, and be creative.

What are the Benefits of Practicing Origami?

There are many benefits to using origami in art therapy. First, it is a great way to relax and clear your mind. It can be very therapeutic to focus on folding the paper and creating the shape, without worrying about anything else.

Second, origami can help you focus on the present, to calm down, and to connect with other people. Origami can be viewed as a form of meditation and mental grounding. When you are folding a piece of paper, your mind is focused on the task at hand, and you are able to clear your mind of all distractions.

Origami can also help to improve your focus and concentration. This is because when you are folding a piece of paper, you need to pay attention to the details in order to create a successful fold. You learn through the paper folding process to focus on one task at a time and sustain your attention as you maintain your intention and goal in mind. You also practice essential skills needed to follow directions and complete tasks, such as following a sequential order of operations. Origami can be a challenging activity as it requires fine motor skills, spatial skills, hand-eye coordination, sequential ordering skills and mental concentration. It can also be very rewarding as one develops a sense of mastery over time.

One of the main therapeutic benefits of origami is that it helps with anxiety and depression. Both of these conditions can be debilitating, and often lead to feelings of isolation and hopelessness.

Origami can help to combat these feelings by providing an outlet for creativity and self-expression. It also encourages focus and concentration, which can be helpful when learning to practice mindfulness of emotions and thoughts.

If you are interested in learning more about the use of origami in art therapy, please reach out to Holistic Health Counseling Center today to learn more about incorporating these techniques into your therapeutic practice.

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