Monthly Archives: February 2007

L’art contre l’alzheimer

Cyberpresse | Le Soleil

vendredi 16 février 2007 

Aquarelle créée par Samuel, un octogénaire atteint d’Alzheimer.

L’art contre l’alzheimer

Régis Tremblay

Le Soleil

Dans le brouillard où s’avance ce malade atteint d’Alzheimer perce soudain une lumière, un espoir… Cette lueur le guide vers une éclaircie… vers quelqu’un : lui-même ! Ce rayon d’espoir, c’est l’art.

Cette illumination est arrivée récemment à quatre octogénaires de Montréal : Béatrice, Benoît, Samuel et Victor. Atteints d’Alzheimer, ils se sont réunis tous les jeudis pendant six mois, autour de la thérapeute Pascale Godbout, pour s’adonner à des activités artistiques.

La thérapeute témoigne : « Tous les quatre ont exprimé leur plaisir et leur satisfaction ; tous les quatre ont manifesté de l’enthousiasme, de la bonne humeur et de la joie. Et surtout, tous ont trouvé dans l’art une façon de compenser un peu l’altération de leurs facultés. »

Le résultat fut si encourageant que Pascale Godbout en a fait son sujet de recherche pour l’obtention d’une maîtrise en art-thérapie, à l’Université de Montréal, l’an dernier.

L’art-thérapie n’est pas encore admise par notre système de santé. « Ma profession n’est pas reconnue. Pourtant, les résultats sont là ! » affirme Pascale Godbout, en entrevue, qui fait cette recommandation dans son étude : « On peut souhaiter que les services d’art-thérapie auprès des personnes âgées en perte d’autonomie soient offerts dans tous les centres d’hébergement, qu’ils fassent partie du programme ordinaire de soins et d’activités quotidiennes… »

La thérapeute précise : « Il y a bien quelques séances de dessin dans les centres d’hébergement, mais elles sont classées dans la section bricolage, loisirs et bingos… alors qu’on pourrait en faire de vraies séances de thérapie ! »

L’art dont il est ici question n’est pas du grand art, mais un mode d’expression où l’acte est plus important que le résultat. À partir de quelques techniques simples (collage, dessin, aquarelle), les quatre octogénaires ont réalisé des œuvres naïves, mais significatives.

« Étant inaptes à suivre des directives, ils ont eu toute liberté pour faire ce qu’ils voulaient.

Mais le seul fait de créer a amélioré leur rapport à eux-mêmes et au monde. Béatrice, Benoît, Samuel et Victor en ont ressenti du bien-être, une meilleure estime de soi et un plus fort sentiment identitaire », déclare Pascale Godbout.

Est-ce si étonnant de constater le pouvoir libérateur de l’art sur les personnes déficientes, alors que le geste créateur a toujours eu des effets profonds sur tout artiste, quel qu’il soit ? « Le monde de l’art est plus ouvert que toute autre activité humaine, il est vraiment la lumière au bout du tunnel pour beaucoup de gens », ajoute la thérapeute.

Pour Pascale Godbout, son travail de « débroussaillage » est une promesse, un investissement : « C’est comme planter une graine. J’ai plein d’idées pour prolonger cette expérience. D’ailleurs, la Société Alzheimer s’est montrée intéressée à lui donner suite… »

Source de l’info ICI

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Emotional paintings.

In conversation with Brian O’Connell
Feb 6 2007

Irish Times
(c) 2007, The Irish Times.

My Working Day

Gerardine Walsh, art therapist, often feels she is acting as a witness to what her clients express through their paintings I am employed with the Health Service Executive (HSE) in South Lee Mental Health Services, as part of a multidisciplinary team that comprises a large range of mental health professions including psychiatric nurses, social workers, psychologists, doctors and counsellors.
This team is community based, so ideally our goal is to prevent admission and provide support and treatment for people in their community and in their home.

I receive referrals from members of the team and this professional contact is not only vital, but it also supports me. My work day usually begins with a team meeting where we discuss patients, after which I prepare the art studio. Usually I then have appointments for one-on-one or group sessions.
The one-on-one session takes one hour while the group takes an hour and a half. I work with a broad spectrum of mental health issues ranging from mild to severe difficulties.

As an art therapist, the image holds meaning for the artist/patient on many levels, both conscious and unconscious. The beautiful thing for me is to sit and be present while people work in a group.
The atmosphere in the room is soft yet focused. If you imagine a child drawing and colouring, there is a bubble of soft concentration. This is what it is like in group art therapy, when patients engage with themselves, totally absorbed in the art-making process and the therapy creeps in all by itself.

The process is non-directive, patients are provided with a range of materials and the session begins with a meditation to ground and centre the group. Part of my job as an art therapist is to put people at ease so that they feel free to use the art materials in whatever way they wish to support where they are. I often see shifts in style or content in a patient’s work. This reflects the patient’s changing relationship with themselves. 
Some of my patients like to call this soul work. As I watch a patient work, I often get a sense that they are gently unwinding some trauma from the depths of their soul. My response to the patient is sometimes verbal, talking about their art, the feelings that have come up, their struggles and their own insights.

I support them through the three-pointed therapeutic relationship of the image, the patient and the therapist, to integrate their feelings and, over time, access their strengths. At other times my response is non-verbal – just noticing the movements or the flow of their work. I often feel I am acting as a witness to what the patient has expressed, yet so often images speak for us when words fail or are difficult to find.

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Art therapy workshop for professionals (BC, Canada)

Healing the Healers
Experiential Art Therapy Workshop for Professionals

Healing the Healers
Experiential Art Therapy Workshop for Professionals
will be offered twice this spring:

1) February 24 & 25, 2007
2) March 31 & April 1, 2007

To understand oneself through the expressive arts is to go beyond the limitations of language and social construct, and to engage in a landscape of the unconscious, to participate in the re-creation of self.

This experiential workshop offers an opportunity for healthcare professionals to explore therapeutic issues of stress, “vicarious trauma” and self-care.

Participants will have an opportunity to use the creative process for personal exploration, growth, and insight in a safe, confidential environment. The focus will be on personal development through spontaneous art-making and symbolism. No art experience is necessary.

Further details can be found here…

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Self-Injury: One Family’s Story

Self-Injury: One Family’s Story

A mother and daughter tell their story about self-harm and how they finally got the strength to get help.

By Jeanie Lerche Davis
WebMD Feature Reviewed By Cynthia Haines, MD

Dawn was a junior in high school when her secret was discovered – she was practicing self-harm, she was cutting herself. That was eight years ago. Today, Dawn is nearly 25, and has transformed herself and her life. She has focused her career goals on helping others with emotional problems.

Dawn and Deb (her mother) hope that, in sharing their story, they can help other families come to grips with the problem of cutting. A Sheltered, Strict Childhood Looking back, Dawn can see what went wrong. Things just weren’t right at home. “I always felt, when I was a kid growing up, a lot of anger, but I didn’t know what to do with it,” she tells WebMD. “I wasn’t really allowed to get angry at home, to express my anger.” Her father demanded perfection from her, Dawn says. “Also, I lived an extremely sheltered, controlled life as a child. I was real shy, real passive. I didn’t have hobbies or activities. I didn’t belong to clubs. I was always by myself, always in my room. I didn’t have a whole lot of friends.”

Continued HERE…


That crisis has passed. In May, Dawn graduated from college with a major in psychology and a minor in art. She now works for an area agency that helps the mentally handicapped and disabled. She wants to pursue a master’s in psychology, so she can be an art therapist. “Dawn found that art therapy helped her a lot with her own problems,” Deb says.

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Art Therapy with Family Caregivers of Patients with Cancer

Art Therapy with Family Caregivers of Patients with Cancer
Kentucky Nurse – Find Articles

Art Therapy with Family Caregivers of Patients with Cancer

Kentucky Nurse, Oct-Dec 2005
by Fugate, Jessica

Patients and their caregivers experience a significant amount of stress and anxiety related to their hospitalization. Art therapy has been one suggestion for reducing anxiety and stress. Nurses possess valuable knowledge of patients’ and families’ needs and are in an ideal position to implement art therapy.

Decreased anxiety and stress for patients and caregivers will result in better outcomes for the patient and may increase the effectiveness of other interventions administered by the nurse. The focus of this paper was to analyze Walsh, Martin, and Schmidt’s (2004) research study on art therapy for research utilization potential. The purpose of a group utilization project is to educate nurses about the effectiveness of art therapy on decreasing anxiety and stress, and ways to help establish creative arts programs.

Continued HERE

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Lancet: Healing through art therapy in disaster settings

A rare occurence an art therapy article in the Lancet!!
No fulltext available without a subscription though.

Entrez PubMed

Lancet. 2006 Dec;

Healing through art therapy in disaster settings.

Ahmed SH, Siddiqi MN.

Department of Psychiatry, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.

PMID: 17188987 [PubMed – in process]

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Art Therapy for all Those Affected by Cancer

NEWS | Art Therapy for all Those Affected by Cancer | | The portal for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Northern Ireland | Supported by NICVA

Art Therapy for all Those Affected by Cancer Art therapy encourages you to express yourself and communicate how you feel. Sometimes it is hard to find words to say how they feel and what they are thinking and Art Therapy can be another way to express things.

When I’m not Laughing
When I’m not Laughing, acrylic on card.

Clients externally express their internal feelings without words in art therapy When you or someone close to you has cancer it is normal to feel anxious, frightened and worried about the future. Everyone copes differently but most people wish to convey these new feelings they are experiencing. Sometimes it is good to express ourselves to someone who has helped others with these issues.

Ulster Cancer Foundation’s Art Therapist has been specially trained and is experienced in helping patients, families and care workers cope with cancer. In Art Therapy, people are encouraged to express what they cannot say with words through drawing, paintings, sculpture, collage or other art forms. The actual process of art can also alleviate emotional stress and anxiety and provide relief from painful or troubling feelings.

Art therapy is not about teaching art and it’s not necessary to be artistic in order to benefit from the process. Emphasis is on the creative exploration and not on the art product, so even making simple strokes on a page can lead to enlightening results for participants.

Art Therapy provides a way for people to come to terms with emotional conflicts, increase self awareness and express unspoken and often subconscious concerns about the illness and their lives. It can act as a distraction for participants, providing time for relaxation, managing stress and promoting clarity of thought, all of which assist in leading to a greater sense of well-being.

The sessions are entirely confidential and take place in a safe, non-judgmental environment. Ulster Cancer Foundation’s Art Therapy sessions are free of charge and run at Ulster Cancer Foundation, 40/44 Eglantine Avenue, Belfast as well as Macmillan Support and Information Centre at Belfast City Hospital.

If you would like further information or to register for a session, please contact Mari Flannery on Icon of a telephone 028 9066 3281 or Icon of a telephone 028 9068 0756. Mari K. Flannery, State Registered Art Therapist Mari K. Flannery obtained her MSc in Art Therapy at Queen’s University, interning in mental health, cancer care, with individuals possessing severe physical disabilities, hospital based settings and residential homes.

Throughout these placements and previous placement experience, she developed a considerable understanding of the art processes underpinned by a sound knowledge of the therapeutic practice.

Contained Chaos
Contained Chaos, mixed media.

The art created is something the participants can control. Expressing emotions through the materials can be freeing, especially when things seem chaotic. Prior to moving to Northern Ireland, Mari trained in the psychology, studio arts and non-verbal communication at New York University, earning a Bachelor of Science. Thereafter, she qualified as a Creative Art Therapist within The New School University, carrying out her art therapy placement at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

She is currently working for Ulster Cancer Foundation and at the Macmillan Support and Information Centre. Mari K. Flannery is a registered member of The Health Professions Council, The British Association of Art Therapist, The American Art Therapy Association, The Northern Ireland Group for Art as Therapy and The International Networking Group of Art Therapist. She has had articles printed in international art therapy publications and holds a strong psychotherapeutic understanding of the importance of boundaries, respect and confidentiality.

Source of article HERE

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