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DBI World Conference 2019 - Art Therapy with Individuals who are Deafblind

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DBI World Conference 2019
Accessibility stream: Concurrent session 1B
Presenter: Emily Walters
Topic: Art therapy with individuals who are deafblind

Published in: Healthcare
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DBI World Conference 2019 - Art Therapy with Individuals who are Deafblind

  1. 1. Art Therapy with Individuals who are Deafblind Emily Walters AThR
  2. 2. Outline • Deafblind • Art therapy • Art therapy with individuals who are Deafblind • Accessibility • Theory and Examples • Art Making • Reflection
  3. 3. Background
  4. 4. Deafblind • Living with a combination of both hearing and vision impairment • These impairments exist in varying degrees for each individual • Dual sensory impairment multiplies impact • Psychological affect and practical implications for accessibility • Identity
  5. 5. Art Therapy • Art making is fundamentally therapeutic • Art therapy happens within a safe therapeutic relationship • Therapist uses their understanding of art and counselling • Client can express themselves and explore meaning • The emphasis is on the creative process
  6. 6. Person Centred • Strengths - this is what I feel, this is what I can do • Identity – this is who I am • Relationship – this is how I am with others
  7. 7. Art Therapists • Therapists are highly trained professionals • In Australia only registered art therapists should claim they are proving art therapy • This is similar in many countries • Anyone can find art therapeutic
  8. 8. Art Therapy with Individuals who are Deafblind
  9. 9. Focus • Different for each individual • Therapeutic processing of the full spectrum of human emotion and experience • The more specific experiences of living with deafblindness
  10. 10. Accessibility • Art therapy is an accessible form of counselling for people who are Deafblind • It utilises a visual, symbolic language, the focus is less on the spoken word than traditional therapy • The client is left with a physical art piece that can be used as a reminder of the experience
  11. 11. Accessibility • Witnessing and presence • Connection with people in an emotional way • In touch with disconnected sensations • Safe challenges
  12. 12. Accessibility - Visual • Visual art, like traditional painting can be adjusted • Other methods of art making can be highly tactile, such as clay and sculpture
  13. 13. Accessibility - Communication • Time • Haptics • Working with interpreters
  14. 14. Theory and Examples
  15. 15. Expressive Therapies Continuum • Three levels, two sides • Cognitive to Symbolic • Perceptual to Affective • Kinaesthetic to Sensory • Expanding ability to move all across this continuum creatively may help us to improve our wellbeing
  16. 16. Expressive Therapies Continuum Examples • Tendencies and blocks • Cognitive to Symbolic • Perceptual to Affective • Kinaesthetic to Sensory
  17. 17. Fluid to Resistive • Art materials exist on a scale of fluid to resistive • Examples of fluid materials are paints and wet clay • Fluid materials can help us to have experiences of letting go • Examples of resistive materials are pencils and wire • Resistive materials help us have experiences of control
  18. 18. Fluid to Resistive Examples • Art materials exist on a scale of fluid to resistive • Sense of control and letting go
  19. 19. Window of Tolerance • Hypoarousal occurs when we have insufficient stimulus to engage meaningfully with the world around us eg. boredom • Hyperarousal occurs when stimulus is more that we can cope with eg. stress • Both of these states are a normal part of life but can feel difficult • We can increase our ability to cope with both by using art therapy
  20. 20. Window of Tolerance Examples • Hypoarousal - low • Hyperarousal - high • Isolation or feeling overwhelmed
  21. 21. Art Making
  22. 22. Art making • 10 minutes of art making • Remember it is about the process • Explore, feel, sense • You may like to close your eyes and to complete this in silence
  23. 23. While Art Making • This is who I am • This is what I feel • This is what I can do
  24. 24. Reflection • 5 minutes discussion • What did you explore? • What did you feel? • What did you sense?
  25. 25. More information • Email me at Emily.walters@ableaustralia.org.au • Creative Arts Network of Deafblind International • Australia, New Zealand, and Asia Creative Arts Therapies Association
  26. 26. References • Australia, New Zealand, and Asia Creative Arts Therapies Association https://www.anzacata.org • Expressive Therapy Continuum – Lisa Hinz • Handbook of Art Therapy – Cathy Malchiodi

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