Thursday, 19 April 2012

Art Therapy | The Growing Popularity Of An Alternative Approach To Mental Health

Art therapy has become increasingly popular in a variety of settings over recent years. As I said in my last post on Art Therapy, in the UK, art therapy is used as a treatment for mental illness, in education and along with many other settings it is used within social work. Today I began to wonder how art therapy plays a part worldwide. Does it have as solid a place in other cultures as it does our own? This thought set me off onto my own journey of research. Here are some of my findings…

Africa –

Ma Bicyclette: Art Therapy | The Growing Popularity Of An Alternative Approach To Mental Health - Africa

The first art therapy centre in Africa came into being in 1993. ‘Lefika La Phodiso’ (The Art Therapy Centre) is said to have been ‘born out of a critical need to respond to the effects of trauma from political violence in the final years of Apartheid in South Africa’. The centre’s key aim is to better the lives of those who attend, these being people who have been affected by abuse, crime, poverty and illness. It is said that the use of the therapy here allows the individuals to express themselves, and by using art, language and cultural barriers are overcome. This has shown to be effective in helping those who have been affected by traumatic experiences. The therapy centre is said to work towards reducing ‘violence and violent crime, dependence, poverty and premature death.’  It is also cheap to implement in a country where resources are scarce.

Thailand –

Ma Bicyclette: Art Therapy | The Growing Popularity Of An Alternative Approach To Mental Health - Thailand

‘Art Relief International’ is an organisation that works to improve the lives of struggling social groups in Chang Mai, Thailand. It offers individuals an outlet whereby they can express themselves artistically. The view held is that art therapy is able to ‘cultivate creativity, create an atmosphere of social inclusion for groups that are often cast out and encourage social change’. One of the main focuses of Art Relief International is to utilise the arts as a means of healing and self-exploration and in doing this, inspiring change. To begin with, under the name of ‘Cultural Canvas’, the cause focused on using art to connect with tribal groups, Burmese refugees, single mothers in need and members of the gay and transgender communities. It now also offers artistic opportunities to orphaned children as well as children with disabilities.

Australia –

Ma Bicyclette: Art Therapy | The Growing Popularity Of An Alternative Approach To Mental Health - Australia

‘Melbourne Art Therapy Studio’ has the vision to provide people with the opportunity to discover their creative potential through art therapy and to enhance their mental health and wellbeing. The organisation offers healing through the art process and the studio environment, with the belief that people of all ages can benefit. It is felt that it is particularly good for those who may be experiencing life changes, trauma, illness or disabilities causing distress for the individual and for their family.

Japan –

Ma Bicyclette: Art Therapy | The Growing Popularity Of An Alternative Approach To Mental Health - Japan

‘Children’s Wishes for Japan’ was set up by those who wanted to help children in the Tsunami-effected area of Japan. The idea behind the organisation was to send hand painted bags filled with art supplies from children around the world to children in Northern Japan with the belief being that the Arts can ‘help children and young people feel better while living in shelters’. The aim was to allow the children to reconnect with their humanity and allow healing through the power of art. It was thought that the children affected could benefit greatly in expressing themselves through self created art, stories and music.

It is definitely apparent that Art Therapy has its place no matter which culture or setting it is brought into. In looking at my findings, it is clear to see that art is a powerful healer and plays an important role as a form of treatment worldwide.

Rachel
x

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful darling! What do u say about following each other? Kisses from Romania!

    FashionSpot.ro

    ReplyDelete