The Role of Art Therapy in Healing<br />Presented by Christine Byma, MA<br />Caring and Compassion Conference<br />September 18th, 2010<br />
Art Therapy: definition and background<br />Art Therapy: Art therapy is a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. 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 (taken from the American Art Therapy Association, www.arttherapy.org).<br />
Background of Art Therapy<br />Freud and Jung: Personality Theories<br />Freud on dreams: <br /> “We experience it [a dream] predominantly in visual images; feelings may be present too, and thoughts interwoven as well; the other senses may also experience something, but nonetheless it is predominantly a question of images. “ <br /> “‘I could draw it,’ a dreamer often says to us, ‘but I don’t know how to say it.’”<br />Jung: The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its purposes through him. As a human being he may have moods and a will and personal aims, but as an artist he is 'man' in a higher sense - he is 'collective man,' a vehicle and moulder of the unconscious psychic life of mankind. (Carl Jung, Psychology and Literature, 1930)<br />
Background of Art Therapy cont.<br />Margaret Naumberg: Art Psychotherapy<br /> Spontaneous creation of images can tap into the unconscious mind<br />Scribble drawing<br />Edith Kramer: Art as Therapy<br />On her work with children of refugees from Nazi Germany, “I first observed the different responses to stress as they manifested themselves in children’s art, responses that would later become so very familiar to me. I saw regression; repetition that told of unresolved conflict; I first observed identification with the aggressor in children who identified with Hitler, who had proved his power by the very damage done to them; I saw withdrawal into frozen rigidity, and finally, the capacity for creative expression surviving under difficulties.” <br />
Background of Art Therapy cont.<br />Georgia O'Keeffe: I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for. <br />Thomas Merton: Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. <br />Amy Lowell: Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in. <br />Pablo Picasso: Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. <br />
How to Become an Art Therapist<br />Graduate degree from accredited university: American Art Therapy Association<br />Registration<br />Board Certification<br />Licensure<br />
Art Therapy: My work at Sobriety Through Outpatient, Inc.<br />
Goals for Treatment:<br />Increase creative self-expression, contained through a variety of media, within a safe environment<br />Increase cognitive functioning<br />Utilize problem solving skills<br />Build support system through socialization with group members<br />Reduce stress, anxiety, cravings and disorder symptoms<br />Increase self-awareness and build self-esteem through mastery<br />Build therapeutic alliance<br />
Body Maps: Group members spent 6 weeks drawing how addiction has affected the body, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Each week focused on one part: head, heart, lungs, hands, stomach (core area), and legs/feet.<br />
Anger Lamp: discussion was held on anger and the underlying emotions of anger (i.e., hurt, pain, fear). Group members were asked to write down on a piece of tracing paper the word “Anger” and on the backside write out the underlying emotions. <br />
Altered Books<br />Altered Book: It is any book, old or new that has been recycled by creative means into a work of art. They can be ... rebound, painted, cut, burned, folded, added to, collaged in, gold-leafed, rubber stamped, drilled or otherwise adorned ... and yes! It is legal! (International Society of Altered Book Artists)<br />
Grief and Art Therapy<br />I Walked a Mile with Pleasure<br />I walked a mile with Pleasure;She chatted all the way;But left me none the wiserFor all she had to say.<br />I walked a mile with Sorrow,And ne’er a word said she;But, oh! The things I learned from her,When sorrow walked with me.<br />-Robert Browning Hamilton<br />
References<br />www.arttherapy.org (American Art Therapy Association)<br />Ach-Feldman, S., & Kunkle-Miller, C. (2001). Developmental Art Therapy. In J.A. Rubin (Ed.), Approaches to Art Therapy: Theory & Technique. 2nd ed. New York: Brunner-Routledge.<br />Bartikaw, E. (2008). What garbage are you holding onto? Bronte Villager, Spring.<br />Cassou, M. (2004). Questions to awaken your creativity power to the fullest. 369_B Third Street PMB 279, San Rafael, CA.<br />Feen-Calligan, H., & Sans-Goldstein, M. (1996). A picture of our beginnings: the artwork of art therapy pioneers. American Journal of Art Therapy, 35, 2.<br />Jung, C.G. (1971). Psychological types. Princeton: Princeton University Press.<br />Junge, M.B., & Asawa, P.P. (1994). A history of art therapy in the United States. Illinois: American Art Therapy Association.<br />Kramer, E. (2000). Art as therapy: collected papers. L.A. Gerity (Ed.), London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.<br />Malchiodi, C.A. (ed.) (2003). Handbook of art therapy. New York: The Guilford Press.<br />
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