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Color Theory Presented by Dr. Amanda Pike from The Florida Art Therapy Association


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Learn how colors affect mood, reflect your energy and help heal. Dr. Amanda Pike from the Florida Art Therapy Association explained how colors affect mood and cognition. She also provides samples of a mandala with a take home exercise.

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Color Theory Presented by Dr. Amanda Pike from The Florida Art Therapy Association

  1. 1. Color Theory & Art Therapy Amanda Alders Pike, PhD ATR-BC President of the Florida Art Therapy Association Founder of Art Therapy Consulting & Services
  2. 2. About this Presentation Objectives 10 minutes: How colors affect mood and cognition 15 minutes: Discussing/ viewing a mandala (participants) 5 minutes: Discussion on the creation and mandala experience TOTAL 30 minutes
  3. 3. What is 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.
  4. 4. Who are Art Therapists?  Master’s-level professionals; credentialed: ATR, ATR-BC  Degree in art therapy or art therapy related field  Skilled in the application of a art modalities for assessment and treatment.
  5. 5. Job Classification U.S. Department of Labor Update to its Code Classification System for “Art Therapist.” It Now Provides an Accurate Reflection of the Status of the Profession Art therapists will now be included under 21-1000 Counselors, Social Workers, and Other Community and Social Service Specialists with professions closely aligned with the levels of education, training, scope of practice, and stature of the profession of art therapy.
  6. 6. Collaborations
  7. 7. Colors and Emotions Creative self-expression through art-making often involves combining colors based on decisions, preferences, mood, and emotional responses.
  8. 8. Primary Colors People cross-culturally tend to choose color-emotion pairings "Cool" colors, such as blue, may be associated with alpha brain wave related states "Warm" colors, such as red, may relate feelings associated with beta wave states; Yellow is said to be a "mind-color“ and may relate to gamma brain wave states Brain Wave Experience Effect Gamma Enhanced memory, speed of thought, improved learning, intellectual functioning Assists memory, provides inspiration Beta Energy, excitement, focus, attention, activities and interaction, concentration Increases cerebral blood flow; creates motivation Alpha State of balance, meditation, enjoyment, pleasure Calms the mind and body; aids visualization Ueda Y, Hayashi K, Kuroiwa K, et al. (2004) Consciousness and Recognition of Five Colors—Using Functional-MRI and Brain Wave Measurements. J Intl Soc Life Info Sci 22: 366–371
  9. 9. Color and the Brain Color has a profound impact on the brain. Color is a fundamental aspect of human perception, and it influences cognition and mood. Color affects performance on cognitive tasks such as memory, and different colors elicit different cognitive skills
  10. 10. Research on Color Red has proved helpful in gaining attention and/or problem solving. Blue aids exploration, risk-taking, and imagination. In older words, individuals exposed to red are better able to recall details, while individuals exposed to blue are better able to come up with new ideas (Mehta and Zhu, 2009). Mehta, R. and Zhu, R. J. (2009). Blue or red? exploring the effect of color on cognitive task performances. Science, 323(5918):1226-1229.
  11. 11. The Continuum The materials themselves and how they are used vary along a continuum. Multi-Dimensional Variables simple complex structured unstructured fluid resistive Lusebrink, V. B. (1990). Imagery and visual expression in therapy. New York, NY: Plenum Press.
  12. 12. Art-making Experiential MANDALA MAKING MATERIALS: cardboard rounds, markers, oil pastels, pencils  Mandala is a circular form that represents wholeness.  Mandala art is used throughout the world for self expression and for symbols for meditation, protection, and healing. 
  13. 13. Examples
  14. 14. Considerations IMAGE FROM: Gussak, D. & Virshup E. (eds.). (1997). Drawing Time: Art Therapy In Prisons And Other Correctional Settings. Chicago: Magnolia Street Publishers.
  15. 15. Questions? Amanda Alders Pike, PhD, ATR-BC 305-707-5106