Art Therapy Sessions

F

rom PTSD to depression, anxiety and social issues – Art Therapy is an empowering solution. Art Therapy is not about creating something beautiful; it is about harnessing your creative forces to remember, restore and energise.

People who are experiencing anxiety, past abuse, behavioural issues, learning impairments, communication problems, anger, grief (and more) can all be addressed through Art Therapy. As life changes, everyone needs coping mechanisms. Art Therapy can be this but more than that – Art Therapy is about flourishing in every area of life. Resilience is built through freedom of expression.

Art Therapists encourage people to create, express and learn. They guide people through creative activities which aim to illuminate and process emotions. Art Therapists ask you to look at things in a new way. Through it all, they help you to let go of inhibitions and enjoy the process.

There is no ‘typical’ Art Therapy session. Time is given to create and reflect. It is anticipated that you will come out of a session with a greater understanding of yourself. These are some of the things you might expect from an Art Therapy session:

  • Time to explore issues in your life through creative expression.
  • Activities such as drawing, painting, creating collages and moulding materials.
  • Reflection upon what you have created. You may ask you a range of questions to this end.

Art therapy loses the patient and finds the person

Art Therapy may include activities like:

  • painting
  • sculpting
  • drawing
  • photography

These are not only relaxing, and rewarding hobbies, but they can lower your stress level and leave you with a feeling of mental clarity. As you engage in drawing or painting a repetitive pattern, the brain falls into a sense of predictability, which lowers your nervous system’s need to be on edge as it prepares to react to the next surprise event.

This consequence lowers blood pressure, pulse, and heart rate, and reduces anxiety. When cortisol levels drop, the fogginess of stress reduces, offering the brain a lot more capacity to decide with clarity.

There have been studies using Functional magnetic resonance imaging, which measures brain activity by detecting changes associated with blood flow. These studies suggest there is a lot more cognitive regulation of emotions, meaning people can think about controlling their emotions, and then they actually do control them. This can lead to psychological resilience and greater self-awareness in those people who engage in visual art-making.

Additionally, there is increasing evidence in rehabilitation medicine and the field of neuroscience that art enhances brain function by impacting brain wave patterns, emotions, and the nervous system. Art can also raise serotonin levels. These benefits don’t just come from making art, they also occur by experiencing art.

Children with ASD often experience difficulties in identifying their emotions and the emotional states of others, additionally, they also often experience challenges in verbal communication. These children may benefit from a nonverbal treatment such as art therapy because experiences that involve touching, looking at, and shaping art materials enable expression. This could stimulate development and reduce some problem behaviours. Gilroy (2006) argued that art therapy can move children with autism beyond stereotypical behaviours and encourage sensory, perceptual, and cognitive development.

Art therapy can also help people with ASD to reduce stress through painting and may be tailored to fit autistic people’s interests and strengths to address their specific challenges. Art therapy can also assist in teaching autistic individuals how to work with their strengths and use unique perspective worldview to create art with the simple act of manipulating materials and creating.

  • NDIS clients approved under improved daily living.
  • Gilroy. (2006). Art Therapy, Research and Evidence-Based Practice. In Art Therapy, Research and Evidence-Based Practice. SAGE Publications, Limited. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781446215142

**Group therapy relies on participation and engagement from all participants, the more you become involved, the more likely you will benefit. Missed sessions can affect the group atmosphere which is an important component of group therapy, therefore, a commitment from the participant to attend every session is required. With the exception of emergencies or sickness, cancellation without 24 hour notice will incur a cancellation fee in line with NDIS guidelines and PODDSS policy**

Therapy & Social Skills Programs

Participants considering attending the program are encouraged to attend the PoDDSS office to familiarise yourself with the environment and discuss your needs in further detail. If you wish to book for this group program, please contact PoDDSS on 47006854 or email admin@poddss.com.au, alternatively complete our online referal form below. You will then be sent details on what is needed to secure your place.

Online Referral Form

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