Essay On Creative Art Therapy

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The next issue we will talk about is creative art therapy with adults who have severe mental illness. Each year, the lives of about 5 million Americans and those close to them will be affected by a severe and persistent mental illness that interferes with their ability to think, to feel, to work, and to sustain meaningful relationships. These often disabling conditions include schizophrenia, a thought disorder that can cause delusions and hallucinations, and the more severe cases of depressive disorders, which include major depression and bipolar disorder. The prevalence and urgency of severe mental illness challenges therapists to develop hope-inspiring approaches for working with this population. However, therapists are often discouraged in their efforts to provide adequate treatment due to the realities of health care in the United States. Treatment is brief, often limited to one or two sessions within hospital settings, and a few months in day treatment. Individual art therapy is nearly obsolete, and people are often seen in large groups with various diagnoses, emotional states, and cognitive abilities, and at widely different stages of their recovery. There are three necessary conditions for therapists to be confident and competent working with people with severe mental illness: authenticity, creativity, and recovery. Authenticity describes the deeply human relationship between the therapist and clients, which becomes a model for clients’ relationships with one another. Creativity relates to clients’ engagement in the arts and the therapist’s awareness of the special role that creativity can play in the lives of people with mental illness. Recovery represents the therapist’s belief that people with mental illness can build l... ... middle of paper ... academic, art, play, and social skills. After the child has developed these foundation skills, the therapist can introduce a variety of social-art experiences to assist in skill generalization and social skill development. Some children and adults with autism have difficulties with sensory modulation including tendencies to over- or underreact to sensory stimuli (McIntosh, Miller, Shyu, & Hagerman, 1999). Building foundation skills involves, motor skills, cognitive skills, and social/communication skills. After these basic foundation skills are developed, art activities can be used to promote meaningful social interactions for children with autism and their peers and family members. Art therapy group activities can also provide a forum for siblings and parents to garner support from each other to identify better ways to cope with the child who has autism.

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