Art Therapy Activities

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Activities used in art therapy range from unstructured painting to carefully directed crafts. Discover art therapy routines with the useful advice from a trained art therapist in this free video on art therapy activities.

Part of the Video Series: Art Therapy
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Video Transcript

I'm Deb Shoemaker, an art therapist with Integrated Therapy Associates, and I would like to just talk a little bit about how art therapy can be beneficial for people. First of all, I probably don't give a specific directive to start with as a sort of assessment and evaluation of where they're at. If I know from intake that this person does have depression or they tell me that they have depression, I would be mindful about the materials that I present so that wouldn't be overwhelming or maybe not so many choices because when someone is severely depressed, making small life choices can be overwhelming. So, in the art process I wouldn't want to create an overwhelming situation so I mean, limit the choices and then give a loose directive about something, we could draw an image that tells me something about you. Initially I might keep the directives pretty broad or even self directed but as we're starting to work and through the art therapy sessions, I might work on some directives that deal with gratitude and maybe helping them to see maybe the silver lining behind the dark cloud of one small thing that they could be appreciative of but not, definitely honoring where they are with their depression. I would never ask them to draw a happy picture or happy place because that might, that would be, that could be impossible for them at that particular time. So I'm kind of going slow and encouraging and getting, usually the depression has some underlying issues and if we can build the trust and therapeutic alliance, then through the artwork it can help the healing process. Remember to always consult with a professional art therapist for more information.

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