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Art Therapy

Saturday, 08 January 2011 00:37

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What is Art Therapy?

Art Therapy is the creative use of paint, pastels, clay or art materials to help people communicate and overcome emotional and mental problems. Art is a powerful form of self expression and is now considered to be a valuable therapeutic tool, particularly in helping to rehabilitate patients who are mentally ill or emotionally disturbed.

Art Therapy is mainly used in psychiatric hospitals and day centres, and is practised by qualified Art Therapists or occasionally by psychologists. It is not only a valuable therapeutic aid for emotionally/mentally disturbed patients, but also a wonderful means to help ‘well’ people develop their creativity and express themselves more freely.

What is the history of Art Therapy?

In the 1940’s, artists working in psychiatric hospitals became aware that painting, drawing and other forms of artwork could form the basis of a therapeutic relationship between patient and therapist. The patients’ creations are said to reveal hidden feelings and emotions and so help the therapist to better understand the patient as well as being an important medium for communication.

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