Saturday, September 03, 2011

Guest Blog: The Growing Role of Art Therapy Around the World

Thanks to Philip Reed for contributing this guest article about art therapy!!
The Growing Role of Art Therapy Around the World
--Philip J Reed, on behalf of Corona Regional Medical Center

Art therapy helps clients express feelings, ease anxiety, resolve internal conflicts, control behavior, and improve social skills. With creative materials and processes at hand, people can gain a greater sense of self and connect more completely with the world around them. This form of therapy is rooted in counseling techniques, psychological theory, and human development.

Around the world, people are exploring the benefits of art therapy, which not only encourages a relationship between the patient and therapist, but also the art created. Therapists focus on helping individuals who struggle expressing feelings verbally to release emotion through their art. To assist their clients, therapists must have a solid understanding of mental and behavioral health practices and art processes.

The uses for art therapy around the world are indeed diverse. Therapists, individuals, and other groups might use their art to address pressing issues in their society and try raising public awareness. They might work with other groups to make wider changes to the communities around them, explore environmental matters, or even encourage change for global problems. Indeed, many individuals feel art therapy has a potential to change the world.

Art therapists themselves show many similarities and differences. They are passionate about helping their clients better themselves, and are deeply committed to the impact artistic media can have on a person’s life. On a professional level, the requirements they must adhere to in order to practice their profession may vary considerably based on the state or country in which they work. Often, an art therapist will be required to register with a professional organization or directory, and may have codes of ethics to follow. International groups and communities are continually working together to integrate the profession and create an ideal combination of methods and take art therapy to the world stage.

In terms of how an art therapist works, the approaches they use may be as dynamic as the number of artistic outlets present today. After all, “art” encompasses fields like dance, music, writing, drama, and other visual possibilities. The right creative opportunity can do a great deal for helping patients heal, discover more about themselves, and help them gain a better understanding of their needs.