The Arts in Arts Therapies
How important are the arts to humans? Many would say that an absence of creativity can lead to ill health. So it would seem logical to try to heal thru the arts.
In arts therapy there are many ways to be creative: music, dance, visual, drama. It is the clients own decision which form of art works best for him/her and the therapists responsibility to provide as many choices for the client as possible.
The therapy varies mainly due to the form of art used. The important part is that what ever the client may use to express himself/herself, the therapist can never judge, teach or train, because the idea is to let the client discover their own relationship to the art form.
Sometimes clients need to be provided with a structure, so that they can play within that structure and feel safe. This is to give all clients an equal opportunity to play. Other times it is good to leave a space for the group to fill, to see how the clients interact with each other.
Improvisation in therapy is one of the main key aspects of the arts therapy. While clients improvise it is important that they do not feel like they have to have knowledge of the arts to make art. However, this does not mean that the client will not learn about the arts - practicing an art form will surely raise their skill and help them express themselves better each time.
The therapists job is to provide a safe place for the clients to express and learn about themselves. The space needs to: have regular availability, clear boundaries, remain uninterrupted, be private, provide necessary materials, be adequate to the task.
Everything a client does, feels and expresses are seen as significant, but the therapist does not provide meaning or tell the client what they think their creations mean.
There is a triangle in arts therapy: space, materials and forms, relationship with therapist. The triangle provides a way to express things which cannot be expressed by words. The