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					Art therapy

What is Art therapy?
   Described as the creative use of art to provide non-verbal expression and communication
      through which to foster self-awareness and personal growth
   It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps
      people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior,
      reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight.
   A coping technique of self-expression and self-awareness employing various media to
      describe feelings and thoughts in a way that verbal language cannot
   Art therapists- professionals trained in both art and therapy. They are knowledgeable
      about human development, psychological theories, clinical practice, spiritual,
      multicultural and artistic traditions, and the healing potential of art

Goals of Art therapy
    Main objective: Art therapy recognized for many therapeutic effects on aspects of mental,
       physical, spiritual and notably, emotional well-being
           o To provide meaning for strengthening ego- allow better sense of identity through
               discover of personal interest and growth issue
           o To provide a cathartic experience- let emotions that have immobilizing effect be
               released through physical act of creating personal expression through art
           o To provide means to uncover anger- use of color and shape to detect sense of
               aggression
           o To offer an avenue to reduce guilt- conveying inner thoughts of past feelings and
               behavior in guilt process.
           o To facilitate impulse control- allow freedom of self-expression, rather than
               repression.
           o To help patients/clients use as a new outlet during incapacitating illness- use as a
               tool in strengthen the mind-body connection by using various art media to
               augment the imagery aspect of self-healing

Art-based Assessment- used by many art therapists to: determine a client’s level of functioning;
formulate treatment objectives; assess a client’s strengths; gain a deeper understanding of a
client’s presenting problems; and evaluate client progress.
     The Diagnostic Drawing Series (DDS) - art therapy assessment that is correlated with the
         diagnosis of major psychiatric disorders. In the first part, subjects are asked to draw any
         picture using colored chalk pastels on an 18 x 24 inch piece of paper. Then they are
         asked to draw a tree in the second part. In the last part of the art interview, subjects are
         asked to show how they are feeling using lines, shapes, and colors.

Clinical use of Art therapy
     Veteran hospital
     Eating Disorder
     Criminals
     Abused children
     Drug Rehabilitation
       Emotional disturbance
       Young children
       College student
       Cancer patient
       Chronic pain

Steps in initiating art therapy
   1. Getting past artist roadblock
            a. Common reaction “I cannot draw”
            b. But art therapy everyone can draw in a way specific to their own talent
            c. There is no right or wrong and noncompetitive
   2. Choice of materials- crayons, pastel, paint, paper (oslo paper, bond paper)
   3. Illustrative theme
            a. Art therapy image- introduction
                      i. Draw something that represent you
                     ii. Draw two fantasy animal
                   iii. Close your eyes and draw a line on a paper
            b. Healing image- themes are ideas to enhance positive internal image, body
                 awareness and mental imagery
                      i. Draw yourself
                     ii. Draw a picture of a part of your body you feel special attention
            c. Mental image- images that provoke the mind to wonder (Mental image)
                      i. Draw a peaceful image
                     ii. Draw how you feel right now
                   iii. Draw a dream image
   4. Interpretation
            a. Every line, point, color and image means something, that the only the artist is best
                 qualified to make an interpretation
            b. Role of therapist is to aid artist in this process
            c. Colors- parallel to emotional expression of one’s mental health
                      i. Yellow- energy
                     ii. Blue and green- happiness and joy
                   iii. Black- grief, despair, or fear
                    iv. Red- passionate emotional peaks
                     v. White- hope
                    vi. Gray- uncertainty

Best application of art therapy
     A great way to call on the wisdom of the unconscious mind
     A great way to release emotions that are pent up
     A great way to start the resolution process of a stressor
Reference:

   A. Books
          a. Seaward, B.L. (2006) Managing Stress: Principle and strategies for health and
              well-being Ontario: Jones and Bartlett Publisher
   B. Internet
          a. American Art Therapy Association (2009) About Art Therapy Retrieved August
              25, 2009 from http://www.arttherapy.org/aboutart.htm
          b. Betts, D. (n.d.) Art Therapy: Definition of the Profession Retrieved August 25,
              2009 from http://www.art-therapy.us/art_therapy.htm

				
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