The main difference between art therapy and other types of psychotherapeutic practices is the use of non-verbal communications as the main mechanism for conveying information to people. Its basis consists of practical exercises that help an individual find answers to all sorts of questions, cope with internal inhibitory factors, overcome fears.
Exercises in art therapy practice are a kind of tool that allows you to explore ideas, events, feelings, develop interpersonal relationships, skills, increase self-esteem and confidence in the forces, create a new, more successful image of your own "I".
The session of art therapy consists of two parts. The first part covers the creative expression of the client, is non-verbal in nature, does not include the specific structure of the meeting. The main tool for patient self-expression in this part is creative activity, for example, drawing or sculpting. The second part is dominated by verbal mechanisms. It comes immediately after the first and consists in a verbal active discussion of the fruits of creative activity.
The most popular method of art therapy among the leading psychotherapists is considered to be a collage, as it allows the doctor to assess the current mental state of the patient, to identify the most exciting experiences. The main characteristics of this exercise are to emphasize the positive emotional experiences of the client, the opportunity for self-expression of any person, even completely far from art, to reveal the maximum potential. Collage is considered a very effective tool for working with the individual.
The creation of figures from clay allows an individual to vent his own emotions, experiences through modeling. There are many options for this exercise, ranging from the creation of earthen vessels and ending with the modeling of body parts. Art therapy with children and their exercises are aimed at increasing efficiency, relieving tension, and developing creative abilities. The most relevant today are music therapy, dance and drama therapy, fairy tale therapy, etc.
Listening to music, playing various instruments, tapping and clapping according to the rhythm of the melody - all this greatly increases children's performance, reduces stress, and contributes to the development of artistic abilities. Dramatic therapy teaches communication, contributes to the formation of adequate self-esteem. Art therapy with children and dance therapy exercises are aimed at the prevention of neuroses and complexes.
Art therapy techniques
Modern art therapy has an infinite number of areas and techniques. Therefore, today it is easy enough to choose an individual art-therapy method that will most fully reflect the state of the individual psyche, and, along with this, will be well perceived by it.
There are two main methods of art therapy: passive and active.
The passive technique consists in the consumption by the client of creative works created by other individuals. For example, you can view images, read works of art, listen to musical creations, etc. The active method is based on the creation of creative products independently by the client, while the aesthetic value and beauty of their creations are not evaluated.
Methods of art therapy allow the psychotherapist to optimally combine the individual approach to the patient and group forms of work. Art-therapeutic techniques, as a rule, are present in all programs of pikhokorrektsii, complementing and enriching them.
The art-therapeutic effect is based on the mechanism of sublimation, which consists in redirecting the energy of the psyche from the traumatic factor to an acceptable way out - creativity. In other words, if anxious experiences have accumulated in the subject, he may try to express them through creative activity and feel relieved. This is the healing effect of art therapy. However, creating an image of what excites is just the first step. The second step will be the transformation of the image in a positive direction. Simultaneously with the change in the image, the transformation of the internal representation also occurs, due to which the individual finds a way out of a seemingly hopeless situation.
Psychocorrectional classes with the use of art-therapeutic techniques and techniques are especially effective when working with younger schoolchildren, since they do not tire children, they retain their performance and activity throughout the entire class.