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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Art Therapy

How does art therapy differ from general art?

Art as a therapy is used as a medium to help the child express his innermost thoughts and feelings. Usually the art therapist lets the child express his creativeness uninhibitedly by making the environment as non-threatening and safe as possible. The child is encouraged to let his guard down and empower himself through self-exploration and interpretation. There are no fixed standards or goals, nor are there models, rules or standards. The emphasis is on the process and not on the end product. The therapist acts as a facilitator and does not expect the child to adapt to a given environment. Instead the environment is brought to the child.

This way, the child's pictures tell us more about the child than words can. Any drawing, whether it is casual scribbles or painstakingly detailed drawing, given us insights that help with intervention. The child's feelings are revealed by their choice of colours.
It is up to the therapist to interpret the drawings and gather insights into the child's anxieties and fears. The difference between teaching art as a therapy and a skill is that, in the latter, the child is consciously made to follow certain techniques and perform towards an end result. The goal in teaching art as such is not to understand the child's feelings but to get him to master the skill.


Anonymous said...

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