NHS art therapy for schizophrenia

BBC NEWS | Health | NHS art therapy for schizophrenia

Government advisers are expected to recommend art therapy on the NHS for people with schizophrenia.

The National Institute of Clinical and Health Excellence (NICE) will promote use of programmes offering music, art and dance therapy for the first time.

Activities include playing musical instruments and creating collages.

An expert panel found the therapy works particularly well in patients with “negative” symptoms such as withdrawal and poor motivation.

Schemes use trained therapists, with degrees in art, music or dance, and encourage people with schizophrenia to be creative as well as participating in group activities.

Continued BBC-News here


Creative therapy gets to the roots of all ills

Taiwan Journal

Creative therapy gets to the roots of all ills

Patients discover the transformative benefits of creativity at arts therapy session. (Photo: Chang Su-ching)
Publication Date:12/26/2008 Section:Arts and Culture
By Amber Wu

If mainstream medicine is unable to remedy a patient’s ills, then a cornucopia of alternative therapies are available for those in need. One such option, which is becoming increasingly popular around the world and in Taiwan, is expressive arts therapy.

Already popular in the United States, the program was used to help child survivors of Hurricane Katrina overcome mental traumas. It has also been employed in the treatment of combat veterans’ post-traumatic stress disorders in the United Kingdom. Britain’s award-winning actor, Sir Antony Sher, publicly credited the therapy, which he first experienced 10 years ago while being treated for cocaine dependency, with helping him to be free of the drug.

According to Hung Chin-lee, director of the Expressive Arts Therapy Center of Taiwan Adventist Hospital, the scheme first emerged in Taiwan about 15 years ago. “At the time, few people understood what the therapy was and the transformative benefits of creativity,” she said. “I believe that people can be healed by using their imagination and applying the various forms of creative expressions. Emphasis is placed on the process, rather than the final product, which is why the therapy differs from normal artistic creation.”

With more and more people beginning to understand the program’s philosophy, Hung–a music therapist–recognized the treatment’s potential, and in 2004, founded the only facility in Asia that offers integrated art therapies, including music, art, drama and dance.

As Hung foresaw, the number of patients seeking treatment increased rapidly. “Since establishing the center, we have had about 30,000 visits in three years, and an average of 700 children come to the center each month,” she pointed out. “Our staff has also grown from six to 12 this year.”

Chou I-chun, an art therapist at the center, said that although people of all ages are suitable for treatment, most of those who use the program are children. “Many of our child patients suffer from illnesses such as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder,” she said. “Others also display symptoms of emotional disorders or delayed development.”

But with more people discovering the therapy’s healing power, the possible applications of the treatment have broadened. “Nowadays some parents bring their kids to the center as a way of helping them to explore themselves, or to learn how to deal with emotions,” Chou said. “Therapists can help parents understand the hidden motives of a child’s seemingly unreasonable behavior and learn to appreciate the way their children are.”

There are also adults seeking help from the center, but they are still in the minority. “In today’s society, adults are reluctant to love themselves, usually more willing to offer their children such treatment,” Chou continued. “But the number of adults we are seeing has risen gradually since last year.”

Continued here

Art of healing Aesthetics and art therapy activities can help young offenders

Bangkok Post : Outlook

Art of healing

Aesthetics and art therapy activities can help young offenders gain a new lease on their lives


The assignment was to create a seal out of a lump of clay. But Pat, a 14-year-old boy, had decided to produce a family of seals. He made seals of different sizes: A big one in the centre, several medium-sized ones near it and some tiny seals on the back of the big, centre animal. “This big figure is the mother seal, and the rest are her children,” explained Pat, a crew-cut boy wearing the mandatory yellow T-shirt and navy-blue pants uniform.

!”Where is the father seal then?” asked a psychologist who was observing the art therapy process in action at the three-day special workshop held inside the compound of the Pathum Thani Provincial Court (Juvenile and Family Section). Pat grinned, “He ran away with another woman.” Chuckling, he looked at the questioner. “He is irresponsible.”


A lull followed as Pat continued perfecting his sculptures, while psychologists, social workers and court officials jotted down notes.

Pat’s answer may provide an important clue that could help authorities improve the process aimed at healing him and fellow detainees while they are in the remand home, so that, hopefully, they will never be sent here again.

Works from the art therapy process reveal and heal the inside worlds of young offenders _ their yearning for love and understanding, their lack of problem solving skills and hope for the new chapter of life.

!”The art therapy process helps uncover the complex nature of the youngsters’ hearts, where the problems lie,” said Sabine de Raaf, an art therapist from the Netherlands.

“Unless we are able to learn the roots of what brought them here to this detention centre, we cannot find ways to help them,” she added.

Sabine offered art therapy sessions to young offenders at the Pathum Thani Provincial Court (Juvenile and Family Section) during the five months that she was a volunteer teaching at Tridhakasa School.

!Young offenders and the crimes that they commit reflect social ills, said Kornkanya Suwanpanich, chief judge of the Pathum Thani Provincial Court (Juvenile and Family Section).

!”Most of these youngsters are from poor and broken families. Their parents and guardians are busy making ends meet, thus having little time for their kids to guide them through the maze of right and wrong,” she said. Many suffer from abuse by family members.

The other culprits, the chief judge pointed out, are consumerism values in society and irresponsible media.

The ability to handle the black marks on their pictures reflects the youngsters’ ability to deal with difficulties in real life.

In the left picture, the black mark is bolded and separated from other colours, while the right picture shows the ability of youngsters who can turn the black line into something funny, making it part of the whole picture.

!”Many young people steal because they want to be accepted in society. They want to have the brand-name cellphones and to wear the fashionable clothes splashed in the media and advertisements,” added Kornkanya.

The situation seems worsen every year.

Divorce rates and family-related lawsuits are on the rise. Last year, there were 915 new cases in the Juvenile and Family Court, 200 more than the number five years ago.

!The most common crimes that result in 10- to 18-year-old youths being sent to remand homes are theft, violent and brutal rows, sexual offences, online and Internet addiction, gambling, drug abuse and truancy.

Punishment is not the cure for the rising crime rate among the young.

“If we want to help these young offenders, we need to change our attitude,” said Usa Thanomphongphan, director and founder of Tridhaksa School, who initiated the art therapy project for youth in correctional institutes.

“There are no evil or bad people in this world. They are just weak people who cannot get through life’s temptations and challenges. They need empowerment.”

Sabine de Raff, art therapist from the Netherlands: “Art therapy provides processes to help us find our natural healing powers.”

“Humans are creative beings. We can always create and re-create our life. If people believe in their own potential, they can, and will, change for the better,” said Usa.

In a “give and take” activity, art therapist Sabine asked each of the boys to draw an outward spiral on a small sheet of paper and an inward spiral on another small sheet of paper. Then she asked them to write inside the first spiral what they wanted to give to the world and, inside the other spiral, what they want to receive from the world.

!The aggressive, ignorant-looking boys wrote almost in unison: “Love, warmth, hugging, caring, intimacy, happiness, flowers and sincerity” inside both spirals.

It is this evidence that convinces her that these boys can be healed and become good citizens in society.

“Art process activities help them to reach out with their hearts and feelings,” said Sabine.

Continued here: http://www.bangkokpost.com/130308_Outlook/13Mar2008_out001.php

Art therapy project in Gaza massacre

– Art therapy project to ameliorate devastating psychological affects on children due to Gaza massacre

Art therapy project to ameliorate devastating psychological affects on children due to Gaza massacre

07.03.08 – 12:56

IImagemage Kristen Ess

Palestinian children are routinely subjected to scenes that no adult should have to witness and the psychological affects are devastating.

Insomnia, anemia from inability to eat, bed-wetting, stunted psychological development which continues to affect Palestinians later in life, fear of leaving the home, are just some of the issues mentioned by doctors in the southern Gaza Strip throughout years of interviews.

“Our children are facing fear, anxiety and tension after living through tragedy and violence, the scenes of death and destruction.”

Samih Abu Zackheh, the Director of the Center of Arts for the Palestinian Child, focuses on art therapy.

He describes the pictures that the children draw as having recurrent themes: tanks, warplanes, bulldozers uprooting trees, smoke rising from homes after missiles have hit, ambulances.

“These have become the dominant figures in the drawings of childhood.

He says that of utmost importance is to instill some sort of normalcy and routine into children’s lives, which is difficult under the best of circumstances under occupation. And after the recent spate of killings in Gaza, over 125 killed by Israeli forces in a week’s time, and with Israeli forces seriously impacting the rights of children, this is difficult, but crucial. Israeli forces also killed 20 school children in Gaza and two in the West Bank during the week.

To be happy, to play in the sun, to hold soccer matches without fear of being shot, as has been the case in Khan Younis Refugee Camp, are among the rights of children. Imprisoning chidren at 11 years old, opening fire on elementary schools, shooting children in the legs who throw stones at the Old City gate in Hebron, are all violations of the right to childhood.

In addition to the art therapy project, there is other work underway to find ways to provide direct psychological counseling to both child and parent, in order to help parents who are struggling with their own losses, guide their children through the ongoing tragedies.

Source: http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2500&Itemid=28

Art Therapy | Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture


Art Therapy

The Medical Foundation offers art therapy to children and adults. In addition, it also has an Open Studio where adult clients can express thesmelves artistically outside of the therapeutic process. All three aspects of our work are detailed below.

Working with Children

The following is an extract from Art Therapy in Schools: Working with Children who have Experienced Political Violence and Torture; A Booklet for Teachers by MF therapists Debra Kalmanowitz (MA, RATh Arts Therapist) and Sheila Kasabova (MA Counselling Aspects in Teaching and Learning), who work with the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Team.

The booklet, the product of a three-year project run by the MF in six primary schools and a secondary school in north London, helping children between the ages of eight and fourteen, was devised to inform teachers and other educational workers how art therapy works, and introduce them to the realities of torture and violence. To download the full document in PDF form, click here. 

Article continued here: http://www.torturecare.org.uk/about_us/22

Art Therapy | Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture

Brush on Paint, Swirl in Some Glitter, And Suddenly Everything Looks Better


Brush on Paint, Swirl in Some Glitter, And Suddenly Everything Looks Better

By Alice Reid (Washington post)
Monday, December 31, 2007; B03

“Pink glitter, please!” said Michele Pinczuk, eyeing all the artistic possibilities arrayed in containers spread across her hospital bed.

Children’s Hospital art therapist Heather Stemas produced the desired medium, and Michele finished decorating a tile that will become part of a ceramic wall decoration in a hospital corridor.

Stemas’s visit to Michele’s bedside was probably the highlight of the Silver Spring 14-year-old’s day. For a half-hour or so, she could forget about how bad she felt.

“When Heather came in, it was like a lifeline,” Michele said.

Stemas and fellow Children’s art therapist Nora Stinley are lifelines for a lot of youngsters facing some of the most trying times of their lives.

“It really helps to give children an opportunity to express themselves during what can be a painful, exhausting and lonely experience,” Stemas said. “It also gives them an opportunity to play, to be a normal kid.”

In a place where doctors are delivering some of the world’s most advanced medicine, art plays an important role in the healing process. Along with Stemas and Stinley, Victoria Payton-Webber also works with patients, using music. The team tries to involve kids in everything from puppet shows to dance, to exhibits of the works they create.

“Art and the use of art is extremely healing for children, whether they’re looking at art or working with an art therapist,” said Tina Lassiter, who oversees the hospital’s art therapy programs as well as the institution’s art acquisitions and even the colors on the hospital’s walls and floors.

“Children are so free. They do their thing, and you get a look at what’s going on inside,” she said.

Stinley has just completed a project in collaboration with the Phillips Collection. Using reproductions of more than a dozen of the museum’s paintings, including Picasso’s “Bullfight,” Paul Klee’s “The Way to the Citadel” and Georgia O’Keeffe’s “Red Hills, Lake George,” she urged patients to talk about what they saw in the works. Then she encouraged them to create their own interpretations.

Then the Phillips framed 30 of those works and hosted an “opening” this month for an exhibit of the youngsters’ work. The exhibit runs through January at the Phillips.

Just about any patient at Children’s who feels well enough can participate in art therapy. Therapists get referrals from nurses and work closely with hospital social workers, who often know about children who could use a few hours of painting or drawing or writing poetry.

But being an art therapist is a far cry from helping out with finger painting at a nursery school.

“I once had a cancer patient, a 3-year-old. I walked in and said, ‘Would you like to do some art with me?’ She immediately threw up,” Stemas said.

Continued here:

Brush on Paint, Swirl in Some Glitter, And Suddenly Everything Looks Better

stamford times – Cared For: The hospital’s of Fairfield County — PART III — An artist helps the medicine goes down


Cared For: The hospital’s of Fairfield County — PART III — An artist helps the medicine goes down

Lasers produce lines on the side of a patient’s face as his head is held in place by an immobilization device, the purpose is for aligning exactly the needed area for a scan. PHOTO BY ALEX VON KLEYDORFF


STAMFORD — As she held her paintbrush, Benny Zolluccio looked at the landscape she created in front of her and didn’t like what she saw.

“Why did I do that? I don’t like that at all,” muttered Zolluccio as she pondered how to correct her work.

Zolluccio can now call herself an artist instead of referring to herself as a cancer victim. She’s a member of the Expression Through Art class offered by Stamford Hospital which encourages people who are cancer-stricken to turn their attention to art and creativity instead of dwelling on their disease.

Cancer is one of the most dreaded words in the English language. But there is hope, said Frank Masino, MD, and at the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Cancer Center at Stamford Hospital and he said every patient is receiving treatment not available even two decades ago.


stamford times – Cared For: The hospital’s of Fairfield County — PART III — An artist helps the medicine goes down

The Daily Breeze – SP gallery reframes art therapy

By Megan Bagdonas Staff Writer

Article Launched: 12/13/2007 11:42:54 PM PST

Click photo to enlarge

Harold Plople says modestly that his artwork is just therapy… (Steve McCrank/ Staff Photographer). Harold Plople is an artist who suffers from delusions.

But operators of the San Pedro home for the mentally ill where he lives believe Plople should have the same opportunity as high-end, stable-minded artists to display his paintings in a professional setting.

So now the white walls and high ceilings of the Harbor View House gallery are reserved for only its most accomplished and skilled artists. Gone are the days when any and all artwork done by residents was put on display.

"Before we just hung everything everywhere, it was like an open house at a school," said Amy Myers, gallery and studio director. "It wasn’t good for selling things because there was such an array of styles and the quality level was all over the map.

"But now our gallery is going to look like any gallery you will see anywhere."

And for the first time, Harbor View House is hosting a one-man show. Plople’s poignant images inspired by his five years as a "drunk, belligerent, obnoxious person" on Los Angeles’ notorious Skid Row dominate the gallery. 


The Daily Breeze – SP gallery reframes art therapy

Video interviews

Video interviews with art therapists in the Netherlands 

Art and the children of Darfur