Creative Arts Therapies are a number of therapeutic approaches that use art, dance, drama, movement, music or play to explore clients' feelings. Some art therapies use an oblique approach, meaning simply that it uses the art form as a therapeutic medium. Therapists do not directly address 'problems' or 'issues'. The creative art therapy is the means of expression and the language of communication between the therapist and the clients.
Therapists use play, stories, music, dance, movement, art, improvisation and myths in the core of the sessions as they act as a vehicle, rather than working directly with clients' personal material, which might feel too frightening or self-revelatory. Stories and material are chosen which may parallel clients' experiences.
The actions or responses that occur within the sessions are assessed; in terms of what might the internal world of our clients be like? And therefore what is the next appropriate move to make within our aims for the clients.
Therapists plan the next session's material around the previous week and the clients' engagement and responses to the material.
Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses art materials, such as paints, chalk and markers. Art therapy combines traditional psychotherapeutic theories and techniques with an understanding of the psychological aspects of the creative process, especially the affective properties of the different art materials.
As a mental health profession, art therapy is employed in many clinical settings with diverse populations. Art therapy can be found in non-clinical settings as well as in art studios and in workshops that focus on creativity development. Closely related in practice to marriage and family therapists and mental health counselling, art therapists in throughout the US are licensed as either MFTs, LPCs, or LPCCs and hold either registration or board certification as an art therapist (see section on Art Therapy Standards of Practice).
Art therapists work with children, adolescents, and adults and provide services to individuals, couples, families, groups, and communities. According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy is based on the belief that the creative process of art is both healing and life-enhancing. The American Medical Association and Health Professions Network state that art therapists use drawing, painting, and other art processes to assess and treat clients with emotional, cognitive, physical, and/or developmental needs and disorders. Using their skills in evaluation and psychotherapy, they choose materials and interventions appropriate to their clients' needs and design sessions to achieve therapeutic goals and objectives. They use the creative process to help their clients increase insight and judgment, cope better with stress, work through traumatic experiences, increase cognitive abilities, have better relationships with family and friends, and to just be able to enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of the creative experience.
Depending on the state, province, or country, the term art therapist may be reserved for those that are professionals trained in both art and therapy and hold a master's degree in art therapy or a related field such as counselling or marriage and family therapy with an emphasis in art therapy. Other professionals, such as mental health counsellors, social workers, psychologists, and play therapists apply art therapy methods to treatment. Many art therapists in the US are licensed in one of the following fields: creative arts therapy, art therapy, professional counselling, mental health counselling, or marriage and family therapy.
Dramatherapy (often written drama therapy in the United States) is the use of theatre techniques to facilitate personal growth and promote health. Dramatherapy is used in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, schools, mental health centres, prisons, and businesses. Dramatherapy exists in many forms and can be applicable to individuals, couples, families, and various groups.
The modern use of dramatic process and theatre as a therapeutic intervention began with Psychodrama. The field has expanded to allow many forms of theatrical interventions as therapy including role-play, theatre game, group-dynamic games, mime, puppetry, and other improvisational techniques. Often, drama therapy is utilized to help a client:
- Solve a problem
- Achieve a catharsis
- Delve into truths about self
- Understand the meaning of personally resonant images
- Explore and transcend unhealthy patterns of interaction
The application of dramatherapy is extremely varied, based on the practitioner, the setting and the client. From fully-fledged performances among a troupe of actors to individual empty chair role-play, sessions may involve many variables.
Some of the core processes at the heart of dramatherapy include projective identification and dramatic distancing. Projective identification is the process whereby a person identifies with a character in a story. Dramatic distancing refers to the way that emotional and psychological problems can be accessed easier through metaphor. The client has a distanced relationship through metaphor to these problems that makes them easier to tolerate.
Referred to as AAT, Animal Assisted Therapy is used in numerous health care facilities as well as other institutions. Animals have been a part of humans' lives for centuries and this, relatively new role has made a considerable difference to the lives of many people of all ages and needs.
What Sort of Animal?
Horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, lizards, even dolphins and elephants have been employed in this work. The main thing is that, whatever species is used, each individual animal must have the right temperament and possess specific characteristics necessary for the job. (It makes sense that more dogs and cats are involved in this form of therapy than any other species, because they're more widely recognised and accessible than dolphins or elephants...)
How Does it Work?
The benefits for people are many. Animals in assisted therapy help different people in different ways, according to their needs. All the clients who receive this therapy may benefit from the calming effect that animals have on them. Just stroking a cat or dog regularly may lower the person's blood pressure and help to alleviate depression. Improvements in people's emotional well-being, help with behavioural problems and self-esteem and reduced anxiety or loneliness have been reported.
The 'petting pets' are selected very carefully. It is essential that they have a calm and friendly disposition and are obedient, gentle, animals that enjoy being with people and like to be stroked and fussed.
Occupational therapists are among the medical professionals who run the groups (often manned by volunteers with their own dogs) that visit the patient with the animals. These are usually made on a regular day/time to ensure continuity and establish routine. This is very important as these visits may be the highlight of the week for some clients. The visits may take place as one-to-one therapy or in groups. Simply getting involved in this sort of group activity is a major step for some. It can motivate them to interact more with other people by providing a shared experience and something of particular interest to look forward to and talk about.
Animal assisted therapy encourages the person being visited to adopt a caring attitude, a sense of responsibility towards the pet and encourages them to establish routines. These are motivational benefits. The physical benefits may also include improvements to fine motor skills. For example, if the client knows they will be allowed to brush the dog after a series of actions, that becomes their goal and makes it easier (and worthwhile) to remember the steps needed to reach that goal.
- Step 1 greet the dog
- Step 2 stroke the dog
- Step 3 put lead on dog
- Step 4 brush dog!
To help improve the person's balance when standing, the dog may be placed up on a grooming table. Likewise, a wheelchair user may improve their manoeuvring skills by positioning their wheelchair closer to the dog they want to stroke. Confidence building exercises such as these, without any pressure or deliberate structure, help considerably.
Information care of: http://www.careerwithanimals.co.uk/what-animal-assisted-therapy.html
Clients who are referred to a Creative Arts therapist do not need to have previous experience or skill in acting, theatre, dance, art or drama. The therapists are trained to enable clients to find the most suitable medium for them to engage in group or individual therapy to address and resolve, or make troubling issues more bearable.
The different Creative Arts Therapies are forms of psychological therapies in which all of the performance and creative arts are utilised within the therapeutic relationship.
Creative Arts Therapists are both artists and clinicians and draw on their trainings in art, dance, drama, movement, music, play and therapy to create methods to engage clients in effecting psychological, emotional and social changes.
The therapy gives equal validity to body and mind within the creative context. These will enable the client to explore difficult and painful life experiences through an indirect approach.
Creative Arts Therapists work in a wide variety of settings:
- in schools
- in mental health
- in general health social care settings
- in prisons
- in the voluntary sector
Thus the clients the therapists work with will have differing needs; from children on the autistic spectrum to older people with dementia; adolescents who self-harm, people with histories of sexual and/or physical abuse, those suffering from a mental illness and women with post-natal depression.
- Develop self esteem.
- Encourage greater social awareness.
- Explore spacial boundaries.
- Develop appropriate social boundaries / relationships / trust.
- Explore body awareness and personal space / connect physical feelings with emotional feelings / encourage self-awareness and ownership.
- Encourage autonomy.
- Explore the idea of finding something within yourself / allow individuals to take ownership of their work.
- Enable clients to explore feelings of fear, loss, courage and endings / to encourage expression of feelings.
- The Therapist creates a safe space in which to explore possibilities. Each session follows a similar structure.
Music therapy is an interpersonal process in which the therapist uses music and all of its facets—physical, emotional, mental, social, aesthetic, and spiritual—to help clients to improve or maintain their health. In some instances, the client's needs are addressed directly through music; in others they are addressed through the relationships that develop between the client and therapist. Music therapy is used with individuals of all ages and with a variety of conditions, including: psychiatric disorders, medical problems, physical handicaps, sensory impairments, developmental disabilities, substance abuse, communication disorders, interpersonal problems, and aging. It is also used to: improve learning, build self-esteem, reduce stress, support physical exercise, and facilitate a host of other health-related activities.
Music therapists are found in nearly every area of the helping professions. Some commonly found practices include developmental work (communication, motor skills, etc.) with individuals with special needs, song writing and listening in reminiscence/orientation work with the elderly, processing and relaxation work, and rhythmic entrainment for physical rehabilitation in stroke victims.
The Turco-Persian psychologist and music theorist al-Farabi , known as "Alpharabius" in Europe, dealt with music therapy in his treatise Meanings of the Intellect, where he discussed the therapeutic effects of music on the soul. Robert Burton wrote in the 17th century in his classic work, The Anatomy of Melancholy, that music and dance were critical in treating mental illness, especially melancholia.
It is considered one of the expressive therapies.
Dance therapy, or dance movement therapy is the psychotherapeutic use of movement and dance for emotional, cognitive, social, behavioural and physical conditions. Dance movement therapy strengthens the body/mind connection through body movements to improve both the mental and physical well-being of individuals. As a form of expressive therapy, DMT is founded on the basis that movement and emotion are directly related. The ultimate purpose of DMT is to find a healthy balance and sense of wholeness.
Since its birth in the 1940s, DMT has gained much popularity and has been taken to more serious and beneficial levels. Over the years, the practices of DMT have progressed; however, the main principles that founded this form of therapy have remained the same. Influenced by the "main principles" of this therapy, most DMT sessions are configured around four main stages:
Preparation, incubation, illumination, and evaluation. Organizations such as the American Dance Therapy Association and the Association for Dance Movement Therapy, United Kingdom maintain the high standards of profession and education throughout the field. DMT is practiced in places such as mental health rehabilitation centres, medical and educational settings, nursing homes, day care facilities, and other health promotion programs.
This form of therapy which is taught in a wide array of locations goes farther than just centring the body. Specialized treatments of DMT can help cure and aid many types of diseases and disabilities. Other common names for DMT include: movement psychotherapy and dance therapy
Play therapy is generally employed with children ages 3 through 11 and provides a way for them to express their experiences and feelings through a natural, self-guided, self-healing process. As children's experiences and knowledge are often communicated through play, it becomes an important vehicle for them to know and accept themselves and others. Play Therapy is the systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial challenges and achieve optimal growth and development. A working definition might be a form of counselling or psychotherapy that therapeutically engages the power of play to communicate with and help people, especially children, to engender optimal integration and individuation.
Play Therapy is often used as tool of diagnosis. A play therapist observes a client playing with toys (play-houses, pets, dolls, etc.) to determine the cause of the disturbed behaviour. The objects and patterns of play, as well as the willingness to interact with the therapist, can be used to understand the underlying rationale for behaviour both inside and outside the session.
According to the psychodynamic view, people (especially children) will engage in play behaviour in order to work through their interior obfuscations and anxieties. In this way, play therapy can be used as a self-help mechanism, as long as children are allowed time for "free play" or "unstructured play." From a developmental point of view, play has been determined to be an essential component of healthy child development. Play has been directly linked to cognitive development.
One approach to treatment is for play therapists use a type of systematic desensitization or relearning therapy to change disturbing behaviour, either systematically or in less formal social settings. These processes are normally used with children, but are also applied with other pre-verbal, non-verbal, or verbally-impaired persons, such as slow-learners, or brain-injured or drug-affected persons. Mature adults usually need much "group permission" before indulging in the relaxed spontaneity of play therapy, so a very skilled group worker is needed to deal with such guarded individuals.
Many mature adults find that "child's play" is so difficult and taboo, that most experienced group workers need specially tailored "play" strategies to reach them. Competent adult-group workers will use these play strategies to enable more unguarded spontaneity to develop in the non-childish student.