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Therapeutic Benefits of Art

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Manraj Sharma

on 24 April 2014

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Transcript of Therapeutic Benefits of Art

Provides accessible modality for individuals with certain disabilities
Does not rely on verbal skills
Less intrusive than speaking but can be therapeutic
Encourages creative thinking in a safe-environment [3]
What is art?
What is art therapy?
Art therapy helps those with emotional and psychological difficulties deal with problems through a co-operative process of discovery [1]
It combines the creative process and psychotherapy, facilitating self-exploration and understanding [2]
Uses imagery, colour and shape as part of the creative and therapeutic process [2]
Effective for people of any age [2]
Julia Hanes
Khrystyna Hnatovska
Nabil Mitha
Sureka Pavalagantharajah
Manraj Sharma
To help mediate patient anxiety and agitation in mental health facilities [4]
Art is the tool for communication, self-examination and healing. [3]
Art can be used to help in mind/body healing [2]
Creative activity can help to lower stress and intrusive negative thinking, as well as increase confidence, concentration and positive feelings and this learning can then be transferred to other areas of life [5]
Helps to strengthen creativity and evoke positive change, including personal growth, healing, insight and problem resolution [5]
Exposes and identifies issues such as relationships, family, loss, life transitions, abuse, and development [3]
Stress is a state of mental tension and worry and occasionally strong anxieties [6]
Stress Management Techniques [7]
Identify the sources of stress in your life
Analyze the ways in which you currently cope with stress
Learn healthier ways to manage stress such as
Avoiding unnecessary stress
Alter the situation
Adapt to the stressor
Adjust your attitude
Accept that there are things you cannot change
Make time for fun and relaxation
Adopt a healthy lifestyle
Therapy; including but not limited to
Art therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy
What did you think of the activity?
Did the simulation make you feel:
Social Cohesion?
Given that you have drawn an image, does anything differ between drawing your thoughts versus speaking?
Can you empathize with the art you see?
[16] Sarid, O., & Huss, E. (2010). Trauma and acute stress disorder: A comparison between cognitive behavioral intervention and art therapy. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 37(1), 8-12. Chicago

On the sheet of paper given to you, artistically depict an event or idea that either caused you stress or happiness this year.
On the back of the paper, write anything you find appropriate that you would associate with the drawing.
The papers will be collected and randomly distributed around the class where you will write out emotions associated with the drawing you are given.
You are free to opt out if you choose.
Add a star to the right-hand bottom corner of your diagram if you are comfortable with another student interpreting and speaking about your drawing.
If a student does not draw a star, please respect their wishes and do not speak about their drawing
Therapeutic Benefits of Art
Typical Uses of Art Therapy

What is stress?
Purpose of Discussion
What is the purpose of our discussion given that it is not art therapy?
Our activity was intended as an exploration of thoughts and emotions through art
Intended to get the class involved or, in the context of this activity, to think about how emotional exploration through art might manifest itself outside of the classroom
Art is the expression or application of creative skill and imagination producing works to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power (Oxford English Dictionary [8])
[1] http://creativeartstherapies.concordia.ca/programs/art-therapy-ma/
[2] http://canadianarttherapy.org/about-art-therapy
[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21539683
[5] http://aatq.org/en/arttherapy.php
[6] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stress
[7] http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_management_relief_coping.htm
[8] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/art
[9] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2921311/
[10] http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-healing-arts/201003/cool-art-therapy-intervention-7-creating-together
[11] http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/six_habits_of_highly_empathic_people1
[12] http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ722384.pdf

Art Therapy is a commonly used stress-management technique [Chapman et al.]
There are several studies that show both the effectiveness and ineffectiveness of art therapy[Chapman et al.]
Art Therapy: Is it always beneficial?
We are NOT art therapists
The activity performed is not art therapy--it is simply meant to introduce you to the idea of art therapy through the exploration of drawing out your thoughts and emotions
We are not claiming that there are definite benefits of art therapy, but simply exposing you to the literature that demonstrates the benefits as well as drawbacks of art therapy
The discussion will not be used to draw conclusions about art therapy and it is not meant to be therapeutic
Please do not focus on the quality of the drawings being produced--there is no such thing as a bad drawing!
This is intended to be an anonymous activity
A qualitative study examined case studies of art therapy for three women with cancer [ 13]
Cancer tends to cause a number of stresses and psychological effects such as isolation, self esteem loss, grief, etc [13].
The article found that art therapy benefited the cancer patients by offering a way to organize their emotions while using art media, thus helping the patients come to terms with difficult emotions. It also introduced coping mechanisms through expression and psychological support. [13]
Expressive Therapy with Severely Maltreated Children : Neuroscience Contributions [12]
Link Between Art Therapy and Empathy
Non-verbal, expressive therapies can be more effective than verbal therapies in maltreated children exhibiting attachment difficulties.
Children are especially vulnerable at a young age when their brains are developing, and maltreatment or abuse can lead to quantifiable brain changes when compared to healthy controls
Traumatic memories are stored in the right hemisphere of the brain, and this makes verbal communication of traumatic memories difficult.
In the words of Ulman (a founder of art therapy), art therapy is "a meeting ground of the world inside and the world outside".
Art therapy is useful in children who cannot yet express their experiences with words
However, a different research group did a follow up study on a group of cancer patients 5 years after they were administered successful art therapy [14].
The study found that there was no difference in coping and quality of life between the control group and the group that was given art therapy 5 years before [14].
Therefore, the article concluded that art therapy is important for coping and quality of life for cancer patients in a short term perspective [14].
[13] Borgmann, Erin. "Art therapy with three women diagnosed with cancer." The Arts in Psychotherapy 29.5 (2002): 245-251.
[14] Öster, I., Tavelin, B., Egberg Thyme, K., Magnusson, E., Isaksson, U., Lindh, J., & Åström, S. (2014). Art therapy during radiotherapy–A five-year follow-up study with women diagnosed with breast cancer. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 41(1), 36-40.
Art Therapy to Benefit Cancer Patients
There are three stages of art therapy.
During art therapy a person uses these stages simultaneously or as a cycle.
First, the physical aspect of creating art through the use of art materials helps control the physical agitation of the patient.
Second, anger is contextualized into a larger self image .
Third, the impact of emotions is changed because they are represented on the page, and therefore have a different effect.
These stages of art therapy allow the traumatic memories, that are initially very fragmented and disorganized and overwhelming to be reintegrated into the brain, and help the patient reduce the sensory over excitation, creating a sense of control and optimism, as well as physical relaxation.

Mechanisms of Art Therapy
Physiological and Psychological Aspects of Art Therapy
Art Therapy and Empathy

Why do we use Art Therapy?

Trauma and acute stress disorder: Is Art Therapy Effective?
A study was done on children experiencing post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Of the 85 patients enrolled: 31 received art therapy intervention, 27 received standard hospital care and 27 did show PTSD symptoms (control group)
The art therapy administered involved graphic kinesthetic and motor activity (i.e. stimulating the formation of images and rhythm exercises)
No significant differences were found in the PTSD-I scores for the patients who received art therapy and those who underwent the standard hospital treatment
Examination of individual symptom clusters revealed that art therapy did reduce symptoms, which may show that it helps children discuss and process their traumatic experiences
For art therapists, the sensory modalities of touch and haptic sense are of special interest
Touch activates the cutaneous senses that respond to pressure, vibration, cooling, and heating
Haptic sense helps to perceive the shape, weight, and hardness of an object through kinesthetic sensations
Art therapy focuses pre-dominantly on visual and somatosensory information
For example: How images and their expression reflect emotional experiences and how the emotional experiences affect thoughts and behaviour
Actions like drawing or sculpting in the face of difficult issues can express the voluntary function of the somatic nervous system
Afferent nerve carry incoming sensory information from touching the art materials
Elicits reactions like pleasure, discomfort, or distaste
Efferent nerves cause necessary muscle contractions needed for drawing, painting and sculpting
Helps restore a sympathetic-parasympathetic balance
Reduces the effects of stressors and encourages self-expression
Promotes a sense of intra/interpersonal connectivity
In our activity, empathy and social cohesion were important principles. Social support can be an important mechanism of coping with stress [9].
a good social support system can help buffer the impacts of mental and physical illness [9]
group art could be a good way to build on one functional dimension of social support: emotional support [9,10]
to improve the quality of social interactions in a social support system, empathy should be present [11]

Provides accessible modality for individuals with certain disabilities [3]
Does not rely on verbal skills [3]
Less intrusive than speaking but can be therapeutic [3]
Encourages creative thinking in a safe- environment [3]
[15] Chapman, L., Morabito, D., Ladakakos, C., Schreier, H., & Knudson, M. M. (2001). The effectiveness of art therapy interventions in reducing post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in pediatric trauma patients. Art Therapy, 18(2), 100-104.
[1] Concordia University. "Art Therapy MA" (n.d.). retrieved from http://creativeartstherapies.concordia.ca/programs/art-therapy-ma/
[2] Canadian Art Therapy Association. What is art therapy?. (2013). Retrieved from http://canadianarttherapy.org/about-art-therapy
[3] Ontario Art Therapy Association. About art therapy. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.oata.ca/arttherapy
[4] Nanda, U., Eisen, S., Zadeh, R., & Owen, D. (2011). Effect of visual art on patient anxiety and agitation in a mental health facility and implications for the business case.
Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
, 18(5), 386-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2850.2010.01682.x.
Examples of Art Therapy Activities
[5] l'Association des art-thérapeutes du Québec. "Bienvenue sur le site de l'aatq." (n.d.). Retrieved from http://aatq.org/
[6] Stress. (n.d.). Retrieved March 25, 2014, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stress
[7] Stress Management. (n.d.). : How to Reduce, Prevent, and Cope with Stress. Retrieved March 25, 2014, from http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_ma
[9] Ozbay, F., Johnson, D., Dimoulas, E., Morgan III, C., Charney, D., & Southwick, S. (2007). Social support and resilience to stress.
(4 ed., Vol. 5, pp. 35-40). Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2921311/
[8] Art, n.1. Retrieved 25 March 2014, from http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/11125?rskey=6URKNI&result=1#eid

[10] Malchiodi, C., (2010, March 9). Cool Art Therapy Intervention #7: Creating Together.
Psychology Today
. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-healing-arts/201003/cool-art-therapy-intervention-7-creating-together.
[11] Krznaric, R. (2012, November 27). Six Habits of Highly Empathetic People.
Greater Good
. Retrieved from http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/six_habits_of_highly_empathic_people1.
[12] Klorer, P.G., (2005). Expressive therapy with severely maltreated children: Neuroscience contributions.
Journal of the American Art Therapy Association
, 22(4), 213-220. Retrieved March 25, 2014 from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ722384.pdf.
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