Art Therapy creates a safe distance from possible deeply painful experiences while processing those experiences. It is a way to gain insight into anxiety provoking material. It is being used increasingly to help people heal from a range of traumatic experiences.
In Art Therapy, the physical experience involved in making art activates the brain’s sensory areas. This is important because when Art Therapy techniques are applied a connection occurs. The activated abstracts (non-verbal) and the concrete sensory memories are connected with the organizing areas of the brain. Thereby moving the experience into the brain’s cognitive structures for resolution of symptoms.
My first interview with Art Therapist Avilee Jenkins was conducted on Tuesday the 20th of April. I discovered that Mrs. Jenkins was working in Boston as an art therapist before she moved to Nashville six years ago. She tells me that art therapy seems to have been much more commonly practiced and used among the people in New England than here in Nashville. Since she has been in Nashville she has noticed that there is much less demand for Art Therapy.
She has been working with mentally handicap adults, and more recently with patience who have Alzheimer’s. Avalee has been working mostly with groups of people as opposed to one on one sessions of therapy. Sometimes people are unwilling to try Art Therapy, but it is very helpful as an alternative to verbal communication for those who participate in the programs various creative processes. The ability and the will to create art and involve ones self with an effective outlet for expression is a very important step in a healthy direction.
Avalee believes that there are many people who are skeptical about the idea and effectiveness of art therapy. And many of those people would not take the time for art therapy. For those who are able and willing to put their effort into the process there can be many beneficial outcomes. Some are able to purge...
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