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THE ADVANTAGES OF ART FOR THERAPY

by Dara DeGrave

WHAT IS ART THERAPY?


Wikipedia defines art therapy as, a form of psychotherapy involving the encouragement of free self -expression through painting, drawing, or modeling, used as a remedial activity or an aid to diagnosis.

THE EFFECTS OF ART THERAPY USED WITH YOUNG CHILDREN


Art therapy is not only for people suffering from addiction, cancer, or abuse. In P. Gussie Klorer and Megan Robbs art therapy journal, Ar t Enrichment: Evaluating a Collaboration Between Head Star t and a Graduate Ar t Therapy Program, they state, Through art, children learn to follow directions, share materials, tell stories, express feelings, focus, and cooperate. The results of the children enrolled in this head start program were exponential, Art Enrichment is a program that supports Head Starts federal mandates in mental health, early childhood development , family partnerships, and community partner -ships .

TARGETING AT RISK TEENAGERS


Recently art therapy has targeted at risk high school students considering drop out. In Stella A . Stepneys book, Ar t Therapy with Students at Risk : Fostering Resilience and Growth Through Self-expression, she discuses the objectives of dif ferent projects they use. To encourage and reinforce creative and imaginative expression. To explore feelings and personal associations. To provide an opportunity to focus on what is meaningful in the environment. These objectives help teach the students life lessons while also making them feel good about themselves.

IMPROVING VETERANS
When soldiers come home from fighting in the war, it can be pretty hard on them to readjust. Art therapy works with veterans suf fering from post traumatic stress disorder to help get them back into the swing of things. In The Daily News, Warnick a wounded veteran suf fering from PTSD expresses his experience with art therapy, "For me, the process of painting relaxes me and give me a focal point so things aren't out of control. It's a calm place in the storm. It's where I run to when things fall apart . Art has been helping improve Warnicks PTSD since 2004.

WORKS CITED
"Art Therapy." Wikipedia . Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Nov. 2013. Web. 17 Oct. 2013. Brennan, Thomas. "Art Therapy Showcases Healing and Promise." The Daily News [Jacksonville, NC] 8 June 2013: n. pag. Print Klorer, P. G., and Megan Robb. "Art Enrichment: Evaluating a Collaboration Between Head Start and a Graduate Art Therapy Program." Ar t Therapy: Journal of the American Ar t Therapy Association (2012): 180-87. EBSCO . Web. 17 Oct. 2013. Stepney, Stella A . Ar t Therapy with Students at Risk : Fostering Resilience and Growth Through Self -expression . Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, 2010. Print.