Primary school art teacher promotes art therapy techniques to diagnose stress

Primary school art teacher promotes art therapy techniques to diagnose stress
video By Joanne Leow,
Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE:  Many feel that art is good for the soul –  but what about for stress?

One primary school teacher feels, there could be more structured ways
in the school system here to tap into art therapy techniques to help
stressed out students.

“Through the art making process, the children actually reveal their
problems or emotional conflicts through art unconsciously, that is why
I think this is ideal. We want to know what is actually inside them,
the inner child inside them, unconsciously, rather than we actually
confront them directly,” said Teffany Chia, a teacher at Yio Chu Kang
Primary School.

Teffany says it would take a trained practitioner to diagnose their mental state from their art.

What she hopes to see is trained counsellors pairing up with art teachers to practise drawing techniques with the children.

Another technique called “blind contour drawing” where the kids
trace the outline of an object without looking at the paper could also
be used to aid students.

“The pupil has to focus on the line while they are tracing out the
subject, while they are doing that, it’s a conscious effort to train
them to forget all other distractions. This is quite good for them to
go through it and search for themselves, what is happening in the world
inside them, just to create awareness,” said Teffany.

Teffany recently received a post graduate degree in Arts Education and learnt about these techniques in the UK.

Teffany says she hopes to see a move beyond just art production in
primary schools to an approach that includes a therapeutic aspect.

But until then – it looks like these kids are just having fun making art. –
Source: CNA /dt

8 responses to “Primary school art teacher promotes art therapy techniques to diagnose stress

  1. hi there,

    We started a free site called teachade for teachers and I was wondering if you’d take a look to see what you think. Basically we’re looking to build a community of teachers to support each other through professional development and resource exchange. We’re looking for your input and suggestions on how to improve the site. Hope to see you join us and participate.


  2. Hi, im really interested in the idea of art therapy and was wondering if you could tell me a little more about it, and your opinions as to how beneficial it is. I am a third year student on a primary teaching course, and am thinking of focusing on this subject for my research project. Anything you can tell me would be wonderful.

    Thankyou very much,

  3. Joanne, start with the professional associations: AATA in the US and BAAT in the UK., CATA in Canada, ANATA in OZ. A google search with these acronyms should locate the information for you (start by searching art therapy first).

    You could also explore an older site of mine here:
    Happy searching

  4. hi am a young Ghanaian ran a fast growing nursery and primary school in Nigeria . am really interested in the in concept of art therapy for pry pupils . l would appreciate if you could throw more light on thanks Morrison

  5. Google the words “school art therapy”, the author Janet Bush who wrote a book on the subject and has a web site. There is another school art therapy book by an art therapist from Israel. I can’t remember her name. Perhaps could also turn up the books with the same key words. Good luck.

  6. Therapeutic effectiveness of using Graffiti Art & culture as part of Art Therapy

    Hi all, this thesis has demonstrated over time to be one of the most popular pages on our website. I hope that you will find it as thought provoking as we have. It’s fascinating stuff.
    We are sharing…enjoy!

    Respectfully yours,

    The Official Graffiti Verite’ Website

    Graffiti Art Therapy
    Ezekiel- Eric Rothman
    Art Therapy Research MAP640B
    Janice Hoshino, Ph.D., ATR-BC
    December 11, 2002

    This study investigates the therapeutic effectiveness of using art therapy in conjunction with graffiti art and culture in the treatment of socially-defiant adolescents who have been detained and/or put on probation for defacing public property with graffiti. A group of seven boys will participate in a six week Graffiti Art Therapy group facilitated by an art therapy graduate student and a legitimate graffiti artist/youth worker. T tests will be run on the Adolescent Treatment Outcomes Module (ATOM) pre to post to determine level of significance (p<.05). In addition, journals kept by participants provide data for a qualitative analysis of Graffiti Art Therapy treatment effectiveness.
    In the adult-run society which dictates social structure, adolescents are largely misunderstood. The adolescent experience is significantly different than that of the adult experience in that it is a time when one struggles with identity and the processes of becoming an individual. Due to society’s preoccupation with adult reality, young people’s needs are often overlooked and youth are expected to comply with adult designated standards. This dynamic creates a distance between adolescents and adults and causes youth to behave in opposition to adult, authority figures. The majority of efforts made by adult society at reaching adolescents fail to succeed because of the lack of empathy and ability to connect and/or relate to young people. Rather than approaching this population through behavior modification, attempts made by assisting them in their growth process may be more significant and permanent.
    The practice of graffiti has become a popular way for adolescents to act out in opposition to the authoritative, adult society that restricts them. By directly disobeying the law and demonstrating their defiance of societal norms, young graffiti writers engage in a socially unacceptable form of making themselves seen and heard by society. Graffiti becomes a way for young people to outwardly express their inner struggle for identity through a creative outlet. It is as though they are literally “writing back” to society as they take matters in to their own hands. Because these kids aren’t given the opportunities and outlets to express themselves freely, these natural impulses are suppressed and, in turn, get channeled through the socially defiant act of writing on society’s walls, the very walls that confine them.

    In the eyes of the general public, graffiti is a nuisance and an infringement upon the lives of innocent citizens. It has become a major problem in most big cities, causing an uproar and driving law enforcement to instigate a “war on graffiti” (Austin, 2001). This war costs millions of tax dollars every year which go solely to the cleanup of graffiti and punishment measures for the perpetrators. Despite all of the money and energy put into “controlling” the graffiti problem, efforts are untriumphant as adolescents continue to paint their urban landscape with the colors of their experience.

    In order to move toward a viable solution to the graffiti problem, it is essential that efforts be made at understanding the motivation for the behavior of the kids that participate in this illegal activity and approaching them with empathy. Rather than trying to solve the problem by dealing with its symptoms, which is not only a waste of money but serves to prolong the issue, solutions must get at the source of the problem in order to sustain any change. This involves working with the kids who are doing graffiti and helping them understand the process of development that they are going through as individuals in search of identity….

    Read More :

  7. Pingback: Art Therapy News | Artztherapy's Blog

  8. Art therapy is one of the best forms of self discovery and a great tool to help people.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s