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Art Therapy And What It Is All About

07/08/2013

 

Article contributed by: Anastasiya Piskareva of Rush-Me-Not Art Studio, AThR, M.A Art TherapyB.A. degree in Psychology

 

Although Art Therapy has been around for over a century, it is relatively new to Singapore. Thus there are some notable misconceptions of what Art Therapy is all about and how is it different from the theraputic use of art.

 

As a mental health profession, art therapy stands on its own. Yet many health and educational professionals are now recognizing the theraputic use of art and use it in their work. A psychologist or a counsellor may use art as an effective tool to aid their client in communication, assesment, and intervention in treatment. An art teacher might use theraputic elements of art in the classroom with children who could benefit from a boost in confedence, emotional support, or in need for individual self-expression. In such cases, the art class will function differently from a regular art lesson in a way that therapeutic use of art is not about producing aesthetic artwork or honing one’s skills as an artist. Rather it is about reaching deep within oneself, and expressing what your inner voice has to say.

 

In the hands of a certified art therapist, the system is a gentle, fun and dynamic way to work with children. It involves the creative process of art-making to explore and resolve personal issues as well as improve the physical, mental and emotional well-being of your child. In addition, making art engages many parts of the brain and senses such as sight, touch, hearing and smell, prompting the mind to act to its full potential. Such multi-sensory approach to therapy is especially effective with children, who are more attuned to perceiving the world through all senses rather than just hearing and sight, most commonly relied upon by adults.

 

Through careful observation of the creative process, an art therapist is able to assess your child’s development, behaviour, feelings and concerns. The created artwork is not interpreted, but viewed in symbols and metaphors pertaining to your child’s experiences and authentic self-expression. As a parent, you’ll be able to get an insight into your child’s challenges, strengths and opportunities for growth.

 

A qualified art therapist can help your child express oneself fully, effectively process difficult feelings and emotions, and facilitate healing – all without relying exclusively on verbal communication. Art therapy is a powerful system of healing,whether your child suffered from trauma or is in need of help with daily challenges, manage symptoms and unwanted behaviour. It can also aid parents with communication difficulties for a better and healthier relationship, resulting in a happier family. Art therapy can help your child to develop into a brighter, confident, and resilient individual in the increasingly demanding society.

 

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