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Art Therapy - Essay Example

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Currently I'm doing my placement in a day hospital service within the Mental health unit for adults. The Day hospital designated for adults between 18 - 65 year old with severe or enduring mental health illnesses. The service is based on a holistic and multi-disciplinary team approach…
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Art Therapy
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Download file to see previous pages The referrals can be made through GPs, primary care providers and self-referrals also take place.
The other area I had the opportunity to work in was in one of the inpatient wards for older people. The inpatient service is provided for older people who are diagnosed as suffering from functional and organic illnesses that require specialist care. I observed that multi disciplinary approach is also adopted here. In this section of the mental health unit the multi disciplinary team is made up of nursing staff, medical staff, occupational therapists, psychologists, dieticians, chiropodist, speech therapist, music and art therapy. In this inpatient ward my supervisor led a closed art therapy group, which he set up some time ago. I participated in these sessions for three months by shadowing my supervisor and helping him time to time in running the sessions.
My supervisor is the only art therapist in a huge department. He works in 8 working areas within the mental health unit, which includes the day hospital for adults, the acute unit for adults and inpatient unit for older people. Hospital provides both art therapy in group and individual setting. Group art therapy has the same advantages as other types of group activity. It provides possibilities for the feeling of community to appear, it allows the patients see and recognize similarities and distinctions, it also positively influence communication skills and exchanging experience.
It is much spoken about the importance of art therapy in mental health. "For example, individuals suffering with depression, facing loss, coping with trauma, dealing with addiction, recovering from sexual abuse, or seeking means to overcome anxiety have often found relief, courage, and strengthening insight through art therapy. Creativity can provide a means of expression for that which has no words, or is not yet fully understood. Using the client's art as an interpretive reference point, the art therapist helps the client further explore their feelings, experiences, and perceptions and claim renewed clarity and meaning in their life". (Raymer et al, p.38)
Art therapy is considered to be a type of psychotherapy, where art (or creative self-expression) is implemented to reveal safe emotional expression. It encourages the patient to express his emotions and feelings freely with the help of art, making a link between subconscious and a piece of art produced. Art therapy provides for various possibilities, one of them is to examine the conflicts of the personality that cannot reveal in some other way, they help the specialists make better diagnosis and find appropriate treatment. In addition, art therapy positively influenced personal growth, it helps the person better understand himself. "Some of the potential uses of art therapy to be researched include reducing anxiety levels, improving recovery times, decreasing hospital stays, improving communication and social function, and pain control." (Case et al, p.67)
Art therapy has always been used in hospitals as the way of engaging the patients' self-expression. This is always the toll that health the patients with mental illnesses reflect their emotions or ideas that are hard to be described verbally. Potential of the art therapy became evident after the world war the second, when the patients in rehabilitation centers and military hospitals used art therapy to overcome the results of their traumas. As it is defined by the scholars, ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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