When we were kids, art time was often the best part of grammar school. Who didn’t enjoy coloring, drawing, painting, and cutting-and-pasting? It was fun, relaxing, and you got a wonderful euphoric feeling from creating something you made. We need to get back to that child activity. It turns out that making art can be a powerful therapeutic tool for adults, especially in the treatment and management of pain. Called art therapy, this type of psychotherapy can help modify your response to emotional and physical problems related to pain.
“Art therapy does not replace the need for pain medication, but it can be used as an effective complement and reduce perceptions of pain experiences,” says Kelsey A. Skerpan, an art therapist with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. “It can help people better manage the symptoms of stress and anxiety that accompany pain, which assists with the recovery process and improves quality of life.”
Continue @ Harvard Health (blog)
As part of the “Treatment of Trauma” course developed and taught by Dr. Marie Wilson, coordinator of art therapy programs and professor, the group visited sites such as the Prinzhorn Collection at the University of Heidelberg Psychiatric Clinic, which is named after art historian and psychiatrist Hans Prinzhorn, who was educated in medical science during World War I and sought to merge his two disciplines after the war. After joining the staff, Prinzhorn was tasked with expanding the arts program at the University of Heidelberg psychiatric clinic. Under his direction, a collection of artworks by patients who suffered from mental illness grew to over 6,000 pieces by more than 450 patients. The collection is the first of its kind in the world. Art therapy students at Caldwell study this collection in introductory graduate and undergraduate coursework. The visit to the museum, said Annette Vaccaro, coordinator of art therapy programs and assistant professor, “allowed students to experience the true power of art in transcending cultural boundaries.”
Continue @ Caldwell University News