Art therapy

DEFINITION

Treatment using art-related activities, the goal is to help persons with mental and/or physical disabilities to overcome their limitations. Linking creative art to solving psychological problems is an approach developed by 20th-century mental-health professionals. It is based on the theory that through drawing, painting and other creative projects, people can communicate fears or other problems of the subconscious a process, and that, in turn, this process is therapeutic for the person needing treatment. Source: Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms" <br><br>The therapeutic use of art making, within a professional relationship, by people who experience illness, trauma, or challenges in living, and by people who seek personal development. Through creating art and reflecting on the art products and processes, people can increase awareness of self and others, cope with symptoms, stress, and traumatic experiences; enhance cognitive abilities; and enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of making art. A study by L. DePetrillo and E. Winner (Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 2005, 22, 4), showed that producing art improves mood for some through catharsis and for others through redirection.Art therapists are professionals trained in both art and therapy. They are knowledgeable about human development, psychological theories, clinical practice, spiritual, multicultural and artistic traditions, and the healing potential of art. They use art in treatment, assessment and research, and provide consultations to allied professionals. Art therapists work with people of all ages: individuals, couples, families groups and communities. They provide services, individually and as part of clinical teams, in settings that include mental health, rehabilitation, medical and forensic institutions; community outreach programs; wellness centers; schools; nursing homes; corporate structures; open studios and independent practices.Related links: American Art Therapy Association (AATA) defines art therapy as stated above. AATA is a national association dedicated to the belief that the creative process involved in the making of art is healing and life-enhancing. Founded in 1969 AATA is a not-for-profit organization of about 5,000 professionals and students that has established standards for art therapy education, ethics, and practice. AATA committees actively work on professional and educational development, national conferences, regional symposia, publications, governmental affairs, public awareness, research, and other activities that enhance the practice of art therapy. National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies Associations (NCCATA) is an American organization that offers information on music therapy, dance/movement therapy, drama therapy, psychodrama, and poetry therapy. Also see achievement, art careers, blocks to creativity, creative self-expression, creativity, effort, finger paint, gestalt, interdisciplinary, motivation, praise, science and art, standards, and talent.

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