Category Archives: therapeutic arts

An art journey towards health

The visual story of an art journey towards healing, that both preceded and accompanied the healing after the suicide of a loved one.

Art Therapy for all Those Affected by Cancer

CommunityNI.org

NEWS | Art Therapy for all Those Affected by Cancer | CommunityNI.org | 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

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

the empty vessel: art is therapy

the empty vessel: art is therapy

art is therapy

art is therapy

“Childhood
rituals have grown with adult veneers and have turned into a
manifestation of obsessive compulsive order. Art has been added as a
legitimizing manifestation that allows a semblance of sanity. The
collections themselves have become a source of raw material for
manipulation. Materials are assembled in vast numbers so that they take
on form and substance beyond the single unit appeal.” Clare Graham

after writing a post about jeanne rhea for polymer clay notes,
i poked around a bit on her blog and came across a tiny blurb about
clare graham’s artwork. the link led me directly to an extraordinary
imagination. graham embraced a diagnosis of obsessive compulsive order
by spinning it upside down and making it work for him. he clearly
understands the significant value of mass collections of a single item
and discarded materials as not-fully-explored art mediums. the vessel
above was made with pop tops from cans. in addition to pop tops, his
vessels, sculpture and furniture are crafted from buttons, soda cans,
tin can lids, yard sticks, scrabble tiles and dominos.
see for yourself.

“Childhood rituals have grown with adult veneers and have turned into a manifestation of obsessive compulsive order. Art has been added as a legitimizing manifestation that allows a semblance of sanity. The collections themselves have become a source of raw material for manipulation.

Materials are assembled in vast numbers so that they take on form and substance beyond the single unit appeal.” Clare Graham

after writing a post about jeanne rhea for polymer clay notes, i poked around a bit on her blog and came across a tiny blurb about clare graham’s artwork. the link led me directly to an extraordinary imagination. graham embraced a diagnosis of obsessive compulsive order by spinning it upside down and making it work for him. he clearly understands the significant value of mass collections of a single item and discarded materials as not-fully-explored art mediums. the vessel above was made with pop tops from cans. in addition to pop tops, his vessels, sculpture and furniture are crafted from buttons, soda cans, tin can lids, yard sticks, scrabble tiles and dominos. see for yourself.
—————————-
From the blog

of 
the empty vessel:
A
blog about the container as art: baskets, beakers, bottles, bowls,
boxes, buckets, cups, decanters, drums, goblets, pitchers, plates,
pots, purses, satchels, shoes, spoons, teapots, trays, urns, vases

Technorati Tags: , ,

Postcards from Katrina


Postcards from Katrina TM: Sharing Stories of Hope and Help

Postcards from Katrina TM: Sharing Stories of Hope and Help

Postcards from Katrina TM is a Washington, DC-based community arts and health education program using the power of the arts to address social, emotional and mental health concerns, particularly among youth, in post-traumatic situations. Recognizing art as a healing tool, PfK invites you to share your story of hope with a homemade postcard of original art (including collage, photography and mixed media). Also PfK welcomes music and poetry to bring awareness of help and hope.
HERE

powered by performancing firefox

Art serves as therapy, gateway to feelings

Art serves as therapy, gateway to feelings

Art serves as therapy, gateway to feelings
Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Artwork has always existed, as early as the cave man period when pictures were drawn on cave walls telling stories and showing events. At that time, it was considered a form of communication.

Creating art is an excellent way for people to discover and explore their feelings. The finished product tells a story, but it is the creative process that reveals the true inner feelings.

Art represents the visual thoughts and feelings the artist had when creating it.

In college, one of the required classes was a humanities
class where we explored art, music and literature. I was
pleasantly surprised to find out how interesting it was to
learn how to analyze art.

Today, whenever I listen to music, I think about what the
musician and singer are saying. Whenever I read, I always
look for clues to the author’s message. I especially
enjoy looking at artwork to read the story and the
colors’ meaning.

Art therapy is a form of expression through which
creativity can increase the emotional well-being of an
individual. Psychotherapeutic theories are combined with the
psychological side of the creative process to treat emotions
and feelings.

Continued here…

powered by performancing firefox

Teen puts her faith in power of art to good use

Teen of the Week:
Teen puts her faith in power of art to good use – Neighborhoods


 
Teen puts her faith in power of art to good use

By WENDI WINTERS  For The Capital

“Nice hair!” a boy called out admiringly as he passed “Emden,” better known as Emily Dennis, in the hallway of Southern High School.

“I colored my hair last night,” the Churchton teenager said casually, running fingers through her scarlet Louise Brooks bob. “Sometimes it’s other shades of red, or brown. I’ve dyed it blue and I’ve been a blonde, too.”

Touching the twin strands of fabric encircling her neck, she pointed out that the “necklaces” were made of strips of torn bandannas.

“I like to make my own jewelry,”

Emily said with a hint of pride. “I like beading and hemping, braiding straw.”

Her personal philosophy is: “I’m an individual walking around, open to new things and ready to share with others.”

Her father, Dennis, is vice president of Herman Stewart Construction, and Linda, her mother, is in human resources at Partners in Care, a Severna Park-based charity. Her younger sister Corinne, 14, is a freshman at Southern.

This is Emily’s fifth year at Southern. Southern Middle School was being renovated, and for several years its eighth-graders were housed at the high school.

(snip)
She’s been accepted at Towson University and McDaniel College in
Westmister. Wherever she chooses to go, she plans to study art therapy.

“It’s
a form of releasing emotions through materials like paint and clay,
channeling anger and depression into something constructive, rather
than something destructive,” she explained. She has seen how it helps.
“I didn’t want to be a commercial artist – I wanted to help people.
This is two things I love to do in one program.

“My goal is to teach art therapy to kids in a hospital – for now. My goals could change.”

Full story  here…

powered by performancing firefox

When Art Imitates Pain, It Can Help Heal,

When Art Imitates Pain, It Can Help Heal, a Therapy Group Finds – New York Times

When Art Imitates Pain, It Can Help Heal, a Therapy Group Finds
By ABEER ALLAM Published: July 14, 2005

The psychologist handed a painting by Frida Kahlo to a woman in a group therapy session for depression recently at a Brooklyn hospital.

“I want you to tell me what you see here,” the psychologist, María Sesín, said in Spanish. “What are you thinking about when you see this? How do you interpret it and relate it to your own lives?”

The woman, Cricelva Villicres, 52, started to cry. “This is a united
family,” she said. “I cannot identify with them. There was so much
violence and blood between my mother and father.”
  The painting, “My Parents, My Grandparents and I,” shows Kahlo as a naked child holding a blood-red ribbon connecting her to portraits of her parents and grandparents. The 11 women gathered around a long table at Lutheran Medical Center in Sunset Park took turns looking at it. When it was her turn, Vilma, who is 59, said: “It makes me feel very lonely. I have two children, but I am always alone. I do not have a family like this one.”

Vilma, who lives in Prospect Park, spoke on the condition that her last name not be used, to protect her privacy. The painting is one of 12 works by Kahlo that Dr. Sesín uses to treat Hispanic women who are suffering from depression, have been abused and have physical illnesses. The sessions are in Spanish, and the paintings help the women feel more comfortable discussing their traumatic experiences.

Continued here…
Note: you must register with the NewYork times first

Art therapy can reduce pain and anxiety in cancer patients (press release)

Art therapy can reduce pain and anxiety in cancer patients
(press release)

Friday, August 25, 2006 by: NewsTarget

Key concepts: cancer, cancer patients and anxiety.

A study published today in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management found that art therapy can reduce a broad spectrum of symptoms related to pain and anxiety in cancer patients. In the study done at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, cancer patients reported significant reductions in eight of nine symptoms measured by the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) after spending an hour working on art projects of their choice.

Fifty patients from the inpatient oncology unit at Northwestern Memorial were enrolled in the study over a four-month period. The ESAS is a numeric scale allowing patients to assess their symptoms of pain, tiredness, nausea, depression, anxiety, drowsiness, lack of appetite, well-being and shortness of breath. Eight of these nine symptoms improved; nausea was the only symptom that did not change as a result of the art therapy session. “Cancer patients are increasingly turning to alternative and complementary therapies to reduce symptoms, improve quality of life and boost their ability to cope with stress,” says Judith Paice, PhD, RN, director, Cancer Pain Program, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and an author on the study. “We wanted to see if the creative process involved in making art is healing and life-enhancing.

Our study provides beginning evidence for the important role art therapy can play in reducing symptoms. Art therapy provides a distraction that allows patients to focus on something positive instead of their health for a time, and it also gives patients something they can control.” Each art therapy session was individualized and patients were offered a choice of subject matter and media. When participants could not use their hands or were not comfortable using the art materials, the art therapist would do the art making under the direction of the subject or they could look at and discuss photographic images that were assembled into a book.

Sessions ranged from light entertaining distraction to investigating deep psychological issues, says Nancy Nainis, MA, ATR, an art therapist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, who is the lead author on the study. “We were especially surprised to find the reduction in ‘tiredness’,” says Ms. Nainis. “Several subjects made anecdotal comments that the art therapy had energized them. This is the first study to document a reduction in tiredness as a result of art therapy.” “Art provides a vehicle for expression,” says Dr. Paice. “It may be preferential to some cancer patients who may be uncomfortable with conventional psychotherapy or those who find verbal expression difficult.”

Source: http://www.newstarget.com/020154.html

Cancer patients find comfort in artistic expression

Art therapy

Cancer patients find comfort in artistic expression

Jodie Sinnema, edmontonjournal.com

Published: Tuesday, January 09, 2007

When Lee and her son sat down with their chisels to carve their soapstone polar bears, the pressure was off to talk about Lee’s terminal bone-marrow cancer, which she has fought for 10 years.

Lee didn’t have to be the concerned mom, pestering her 12-year-old son about his emotions and staring him down. Instead, art became a pathway for those emotions and thoughts to come out.

“That two-day camp taught me that I don’t need to corner and drill him about his feelings, but rather focus on something else that we both enjoy and let the conversation take care of itself,” Lee wrote to the director of the Arts In Medicine program at the Cross Cancer Institute.

Marilyn Hundleby with artworks created by patients at the Cross Cancer Institute.View Larger Image View Larger Image

Marilyn Hundleby with artworks created by patients at the Cross Cancer Institute.

John Lucas/Edmonton Journal

“Sometimes we just carve in silence, but I am even grateful for those moments because we are spending time together sharing a common interest. … The biggest gift is that I have found a non-invasive pathway to my son’s heart and I am creating my greatest masterpiece yet.”

Lee, now 44, was diagnosed with cancer when she was only 33 and was told she had two years to live since there is no known cure. Her son, only two at the time, has since grown up thinking chemotherapy, radiation, bone fractures and bone marrow transplants are just part of the norm.

Last year, Lee decided to sign the two of them up for a specialized Arts in Medicine program offered at the Cross Cancer Institute, since communication has become difficult with her “tweenager.”

The program, which has been formally offered for 10 years, is the only one of its kind and size in Canada to offer a dozen art choices including painting, photography, poetry, choir, soapstone carving and fibre and bead arts to help cancer patients work through their anger and confusion, said psychologist and program director Marilyn Hundleby.

As opposed to art therapy, where psychologists and therapists help patients read their deep emotions by examining the arts-in-medicine program’s use the artistic process itself to help patients see the world with new eyes.

Professional artists lead the group, then a psychologist, social worker or art therapist have patients write journal entries about what the art means in their life journey.

“This isn’t about craft, it’s about the process, about creating art and understanding one’s experience,” said Hundleby, whose program receives $140,000 from the Alberta Cancer Foundation each year. “It allows us to problem solve, to tap into wisdom, to come to an understanding where we can move through a difficult illness with a greater sense of control and our own power to make things happen that are beneficial to us.”

Oftentimes, patients think they can’t possibly paint or carve a sculpture. Then they see the beautiful end result.
“If I can do this, then the potential and possibilities become apparent,” Hundleby said. “If I can transform stone into something beautiful, what else can I
 do?”
Source: http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/story.html?id=a96de7b7-7095-4f0e-8ab7-20d44434bc19&k=0

Art goes completely postal

The Oberlin Review

Art Goes Completely Postal

Envelope Collective Encourages Creation of Mail Art

Sent on their way: Envelope Collective received this writing mail art from an art therapy patient at the McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA

By Robyn Weiss

As the use of postal mail moves further toward becoming a lost practice, two College senior art majors are working to create a new perspective on the mail. Garrett Miller and Adam Morse recently began the Envelope Collective, an ongoing experiment that involves sending art, in envelope or other forms, through the mail.

“There aren’t really any rules [to the project],” said Morse. “But essentially what we ask is that you decorate an envelope, but not necessarily an envelope, because an envelope is a very ambiguous term, but send something — a letter, a box — through the mail.”

They encourage all people to become involved in the collective, calling for submissions in any form.

“You don’t have to be an artist to send something. People are so self-conscious about doing art, but anything is art,” said Miller. “It can be anonymous if you want, too. [Whatever you send is] art in itself.”

The two received sponsorship to set up a P.O. Box through the Oberlin post office as a place to receive submissions for the collective. At this point in the project, they have made a call for submissions through their website, which will eventually serve as an online gallery of the pieces that they receive.

“The greater cause is to make a series, a collection of the envelopes that come in and be able to auction them off to independent galleries and charities that are committed to spreading art in a positive way — for example, ones that would deliver art materials to those who don’t have the means, or artists affected by Katrina,” said Miller. “We don’t know where the project is going to go, other than seeing how the website goes and how the community itself responds to it.”

So far, the art community is responding very well. Last week, the Envelope Collective was featured on three popular websites. In addition to filled e-mail accounts, the actual P.O. Box is already beginning to fill as well. Though the project is based in Oberlin and they encourage local participation, their hopes are for the collective to become international.  Continued here: http://www.oberlin.edu/stupub/ocreview/2005/11/18/…