The Arts Therapies include services provided by professionals specifically trained to facilitate Art Therapy, Dance/Movement Therapy, Music Therapy, and/or Drama Therapy
What are Arts Therapists trained to do?
Clinicians in these disciplines are knowledgeable about:
- Human development
- Psychological theories
- Clinical practice
- Research methodologies
- Multicultural, spiritual & artistic traditions
- The healing potential of the creative process
Clinicians are trained to assess the strengths and needs of patients through arts-based psychological assessments. According to their assessment findings, clinicians develop treatment plans and interventions that utilize a participatory, creative process to address therapeutic goals.
What should I expect if I participate in the Arts Therapies?
A treatment session can include creating, viewing, or interacting with a specific art form such as visual art, dance, or music. A clinician may spend anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour with a patient. Sessions can happen one-on-one with the therapist, at the bedside or in another private hospital space, in a group with other patients going through similar things, with members of your family, or with another member of the treatment team.
The Arts Therapies provide avenues for communication that are available when it is difficult or impossible to express those thoughts with words. The tools learned through the Arts Therapies can be transferred in practical ways to other areas of a patient’s life.
What are the goals of participating in Arts Therapies?
Some of the goals addressed by the Arts Therapies include:
- Pain reduction
- Treatment compliance
- Adjustment to medical diagnosis
- Coping with long-term illness
- Stress management
- Positive coping skills
- Decreasing anxiety
- Alleviating feelings like anger or sadness
- Processing trauma
- Changes in cognitive function
- Building self-esteem
- Facilitating self-expression
- Changing lifestyle patterns
Research in the fields demonstrates that both the process and the product of therapeutic creativity are beneficial. Using the arts for expressive, creative, and reflective purposes can increase awareness of self and others to cope with physical and emotional symptoms.
Do I have to have experience and/or be talented in the creative arts to participate?
No! You do not need to have any previous experience or skill in the creative arts in order to participate in Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Dance/Movement Therapy, or Drama Therapy. The only thing you need to participate is an open mind and willingness to try something new.
What is Art Therapy?
Art therapy is a mental health profession that uses the creative process of visual art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Art therapy is used in a variety of clinical settings and can be beneficial for people of all ages. Sessions are conducted by Master’s level clinicians specifically trained in art therapy
The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) endorses evidence-based research in the field that confirms:
- The creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and achieve insight.
- Art Therapy can be helpful with a variety of populations to cope with anxiety, depression, addictions, relationship issues, trauma, social difficulties, physical, cognitive, and neurological problems and psychosocial issues related to medical illness.
- Art Therapy can be implemented in various settings including, medical hospitals, mental health facilities, rehabilitation centers, educational institutions, nursing homes, day care centers, forensic facilities, community programs, disaster relief efforts and in private practice.
What is Art Therapy at Shands Hospital?
At Shands Hospital in the Arts in Medicine Program, Art therapy is being used with children, adolescents, and their families to support the medical healing process. Even the most compassionate care can be traumatic for patients and families. Art therapy is a way for people staying in the hospital to express, process, communicate or just release how they feel about the healthcare experience.
The art therapist may visit a patient at the bedside or may support patients and their families in small groups. Art therapy may be a single session or might take place in multiple visits depending on participant availability and the treatment plan.
Art therapy uses drawing, painting, sculpting, collage, and digital media as tools to:
- Process feelings about a new diagnosis,
- Cope with a long-term hospital stay,
- Help patients participate in and cooperate with their treatment,
- Rebuild self-esteem
- Help manage pain from a condition or procedure
- Support groups of patients with similar diagnosis
- Support siblings and family members in caring for their loved one in the hospital
- And more!
To participate in art therapy you do not need to have any “artistic skill”. You only need an open mind and a willingness to try something new.
What is Dance/Movement Therapy?
According to the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA), Dance/Movement therapy (DM/T) is the psychotherapeutic use of movement to address the physical, emotional, social, psychological and spiritual needs during the healing process. The foundational belief in DM/T is that the body, mind, and spirit are interconnected. Body movement is the core component of dance. Movement can facilitate assessment, a therapeutic relationship, expression, communication, and adaptive behaviors. DM/T is a therapeutic tool that is designed to address physical, emotional, social, psychological and spiritual needs during the healing process.
- DM/T is practiced in mental health, rehabilitation, medical, educational and forensic settings, It can also be found in nursing homes, day care centers, disease prevention initiatives, health promotion programs and in private practice.
- DM/T can be effective for individuals with developmental, medical, social, physical, and psychological impairments.
- DM/T can be used with people of all ages, races, ethnic backgrounds and with individuals, couples, families, or group formats.
What is Dance/Movement Therapy at Shands Hospital?
Within the Arts in Medicine program DM/T is offered in an effort to provide whole person care for individuals living with medical illness and the people who care for them. Even the most compassionate care can be traumatic for patients and families.
A dance/movement therapist may visit a patient or their loved one individually or in a small group setting, and may provide therapy in a single session, or in multiple visits, depending upon participation availability and the treatment plan.
During a DM/T session participants may be invited to:
- Identify therapeutic goals for the session such as relaxation or increased energy
- Notice without judgment the breath, heart beat and physical sensations
- Move with and without music as desired
- Use small gestures and/or whole body postures to imagine wholeness and health
- Imagine healing words, symbols or phrases, and dance them
- Practice ancient healing movement traditions using dance, music, or drumming
- Write poetry and sing songs from select movement patterns or phrases
- Connect with others in the room through movement and music
The benefits of DM/T may include:
- New ways to express feelings about hospitalization, living with illness and the healing process
- Improved communication with loved ones and the clinical care team
- Increased sense of peace, meaning, relaxation and restfulness
- Increased circulation, physical energy, range of motion and vitality
- Improved compliance with the medical plan of care
- Enhanced sense of self and connection to others including peers, family members or staff
- Reduced pain and anxiety
- New tools that can be actively used to cope with future obstacles or