Art Therapy

Topics: Art, Art therapy, Medicine Pages: 7 (2599 words) Published: April 30, 2013
Psychology and its Influence on Modern Life

Art Therapy
Research Paper
demko, ginni c.

There is an amazing amount of methods that are used in order to help a client in need from a clinician. Among those methods are the many techniques of art therapy. There is a strong history that many don’t know about when it comes to the usage of art as a form of therapy. At times, art therapy is the only way a client may be able to communicate what they are feeling. As such, there are a great many of ways and reasons to use art therapy in order to help a client get the help they need. Art therapy may be the only way to help a person who cannot speak which is a primary reason that art therapy is important. Art therapy has been around longer than most people probably think. Fleshman explains art therapy goes as far back as the last ice age. The use of combining art was used by North American Indian tribes. Navaho sand painting along with chanting was used when the tribe wanted to cure a particular individual, protect a family from evil, to ensure successful hunting or soothe offended supernatural beings. In order to eliminate the white men from their country, Plains Ghost Dance of 1871 performed group songs and dances. In Egypt 500 B.C. encouraged mental patients to pursue artistic interests, attend concerts and dances. Particular arts were used to treat the mentally ill during the time of Ancient Greeks & Romans (Hipocrates) for therapeutic principles of catharsis and cleansing. The Middle ages used chants and incantations for exorcizes. Moral therapy was used during the eighteenth century, the time of recognizing that the patient is human by using occupational therapy and some art forms. Therapeutic values of art, music therapy and psychodrama were introduced during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Then the 1960’s brought on efforts to change the concepts in both art and therapy. (Fleshman, 11-14) Many people have a hard time expressing feelings, especially their own. Art therapy is a technique that aids those people who have a hard time talking about their emotions. A mind-body intervention is what some say art therapy is in the medical field. Using art therapy helps a client to center their feeling so that when the therapist discusses the art work with the client, they are able to reflect on their work and what is the meaning, with questions such as “what does the person in your drawing want to say to you?” with the example picture a teenage girl painted. The scene is of a sexual abuse (such as her mother walking into the room when her father had undressed her) that catalyze discussion with her therapist of the events depicted. (Provencal, 256) These types of painful memories can be made easier to discuss after doing some art therapy. The technique of art therapy isn’t just used to help a client have a discussion with their clinician but to also just aid in making a person feel better as discussed in research study three. There are an unbelievable amount of art therapy techniques. Stickley discusses many ways to help people with their anger through art therapy. Anger can be expressed for a child with drawing, playing with toys or sculpting clay in order to express their memories through symbolism. Anger rate scale, catharsis and metaphors are also discussed by Stickley to aid in clients to disclose their anger. “Two young boys, used clay in very different ways to express pre-verbal feelings of grief and loss by ‘the use of clay as a medium for working through loss and separation in the case of two latency boys’”. (Leyland, 212) Art psychotherapy, psychodrama and focusing-oriented therapy are the most common art therapy techniques. Creative art therapy is a great way to evoke the creative side of a client. Fleshman goes into great detail about forms of art therapy, as in music and dance are movement art, poetry and storytelling are apart of language art and videos and...

References: Crawford et al.: The MATISSE study: a randomized trial of group art therapy for people with schizophrenia. BMC Psychiatry 2010, 10:65.
Fleshman, B., & Fryrear, J. (1981). The Arts in Therapy. Chicago, Illinois: Nelson-Hall Inc.
Greenwood, H. (2011). Long term individual art psychotherapy. Art for art 's sake: The effect of early relational trauma. International Journal Of Art Therapy, 16(1), 41-51. doi:10.1080/17454832.2011.570274
Leyland, C. (2009). Review of 'Art therapy with children: From infancy to adolescence '. Psychodynamic Practice: Individuals, Groups And Organisations, 15(2), 210-214. doi:10.1080/14753630902811482
Provencal, A., & Gabora, L. (2007). A compelling overview of art therapy techniques and outcomes: A review of Art therapy has many faces. Psychology Of Aesthetics, Creativity, And The Arts, 1(4), 255-256. doi:10.1037/1931-3896.1.4.255b
Stickley, T. (2010). Review of 'Art therapy and anger ' and 'Focusing-oriented art therapy '. Journal Of Psychiatric And Mental Health Nursing, 17(10), 950-953. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2850.2010.01577.x
Wood, M. M., Molassiotis, A., & Payne, S. (2011). What research evidence is there for the use of art therapy in the management of symptoms in adults with cancer? A systematic review. Psycho-Oncology, 20(2), 135-145. doi:10.1002/pon.1722
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