What are the Arts Therapies?
The Arts Therapies offer psychological treatments, which pay attention to individual’s emotional, psychological, social and physical needs. Feelings, ideas and experiences, which may be difficult to put into words, can be expressed through involvement in the creative process. There is no need to have any special skill or previous experience of the arts in order to benefit from arts therapies, the aim is not about the product but is instead about the process – in other words to use the art form to understand yourself better with the help of the therapist. The therapist maintains an environment in which feelings and emotions can be contained. This is made possible by adherence to certain boundaries, which include respect for the confidentiality and the provision of regular appointments at the same time and place every week.
The client-therapist relationship is of the upmost importance and allows for the self-expression of emotions with an opportunity for personal development and insight. Arts Therapists may work with a variety of psychological defence mechanisms including transference, which is where feelings and desires from the past are projected on to the therapist in the session. Such feelings can be contained by the art form, and this enables resolution to take place indirectly if necessary. Making sense of feelings and experiences leads to the possibility of change in the individuals thinking and behaviour.
Dramatherapy is a unique form of psychotherapy in which creativity has a central position within the therapeutic relationship. Clients engage in action techniques such as movement, play, voice, role-play, improvisation, games, storytelling, masks, puppetry, or art.
Music therapy is based on the fact that, in some way, everyone is attracted to and responds to music and sound. This is usually unaffected by disability, illness or injury. Music can often reach someone who is finding communication difficult.
Art Therapy is a psychological therapy that uses visual art as its primary medium but may also use music, poetry or story as a trigger for creative work. It is particularly useful for individuals who may find verbal communication difficult for a variety of reasons or who may use language as a defence.