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Consulting an Art Therapist in Singapore

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Most patients are only referred to an art therapist when admitted to a hospital as outpatients or inpatients because their emotional difficulties have become severe. They frequently find it difficult to talk about their issues because they either do not understand why they are troubled or unhappy or experience intense or frightening emotions. How would I turn into an art therapist in Singapore?

You must have completed a master’s program in art therapy with supervised clinical training to become an art therapist. La Salle College of the Arts in Singapore offers an MA in Art Therapy programme.

Therapists are trained to be sensitive and, when necessary, good listeners. They know that a patient needs to talk about his problems, but they also know how hard it can be to say what is inside, especially when you are upset or confused.

At the outset, patients concerned that they will not be able to draw or paint well are reassured. They are told that they do not need to be good at art because making images, marks, and symbols is a natural human activity that all children do spontaneously while playing, but they tend to stop doing it as they age. Patients are assisted in regaining their creative playfulness, which enables them to express themselves better and comprehend their issues.

The patient is given a variety of art supplies, including paints that are simple to use, crayons, charcoal, coloured and uncoloured paper, clay, plasticine, and old magazines and newspapers that can be used to make collages. Additionally, junk materials that can be utilized to construct three-dimensional structures, such as boxes, plastic containers, and scrap wood, may be provided. The therapist will only assist the patient if he appears stuck, and the materials can be used in any manner desired by the patient.

The American Art Therapy Association defines art therapy as “the therapeutic use of making art, within a professional relationship, by people who have experienced illness, traumatic events, or challenges that have caused varying degrees of dysfunction in their lives.” This definition comes from the American Art Therapy Association. People who want to improve themselves by making art and thinking about it and its process can benefit from art therapy. Through craftsmanship treatment, an expanded consciousness of self is created. In art therapy, one’s sense of self is enhanced and stabilized through the creation of art, making it possible to cope with difficulties, stresses, and traumatic experiences. Making art enriches the learning process, and the pleasure of creating art enhances self-awareness, cognitive abilities, and the life-affirming pleasures of making art.

The American Art Therapy Association advocates for established guidelines for the training, ethics, and practice of art therapy. Members and other experts in the field make up volunteer committees that actively work on national and state governmental affairs, clinical issues, and professional development. The annual national conference, publications, in-progress distance learning capability, and national awards honouring excellence in art therapy demonstrate the Association’s commitment to continuing education and research.

How art therapy began

Visual expression has been used for healing throughout history, but art therapy did not become a separate profession until the 1940s. Psychiatrists became increasingly interested in the art their mentally ill patients created at the beginning of the 20th century. Additionally, educators discovered that children’s artistic expressions reflected their emotional, cognitive, and developmental progress. For example, Dubuffet, Picasso, Miro, and Braque all employed primitive and childlike styles in their work to convey psychological perspectives and dispositions.

I recognised that in creating enhanced art recovery, health, and wellness, hospitals, clinics, and rehabilitation centres began to increasingly incorporate art therapy programs alongside the more conventional verbal therapy methods by the middle of the 20th century. As a result, the field of art therapy developed into a valuable and significant method for assessing, treating, and communicating with adults and children in a variety of settings. In today’s healthcare facilities across the United States, as well as in psychiatry, psychology, counselling, education, and the arts, the profession of art therapy has gained prominence.

What is an art therapist’s job?

The American Art Therapy Association defines art therapists as professionals with master’s degrees in art therapy or a related field. Among the requirements for education are: theories of counselling, art therapy, and psychotherapy; rules of conduct and ethics; evaluation and evaluation; techniques for individuals, groups, and families; creativity and human development; diversity issues; research methods; and clinical, community, and other practicum experiences. Art therapists are adept at using a variety of art modalities for assessment and treatment, including drawing, painting, sculpture, and other forms of art.

Professionals with training in both art and therapy are art therapists. They know about human development, psychological theories, clinical practice, spiritual, cultural, and artistic traditions, and how art can heal. They consult with allied professionals and use art in treatment, assessment, and research. Art therapists collaborate with individuals of all ages: couples, families, groups, and communities, as well as individuals. Individually or as part of a clinical team, they offer services in medical, forensic, rehabilitation, and mental health facilities; programs for community outreach; centres for wellness; schools; nursing homes; structures of businesses; independent practices and open studio spaces.

A licence is required to work as an art therapist. The licensing requirements for art therapy vary by state.

Who can avoid art therapy?

When other parts of the brain are dysfunctional or not functioning well, art therapy addresses a part of the brain that is frequently functional.

Art therapy can help many people, including children, teens, adults, and the elderly, who are in hospitals—additionally, the mentally ill benefit from art therapy. People who suffer from depression, fear, and anxiety from traumatic experiences or developmental difficulties frequently have trouble expressing their profound feelings. They frequently have the opportunity to begin escaping their dysfunctions by creating art.

Drawing, painting, and sculpting can help the elderly, particularly Alzheimer’s patients, who suffer from varying degrees of memory loss and time and space dysfunction due to ageing, regain some of these lost abilities.

Art therapy sessions with the elderly have been shown to improve memory and brain function, and creative movement has been shown to improve balance and movement and reduce the risk of accidents and falls. “Meet and MOMA” is a New York Museum of Modern Art program. A group of Alzheimer’s patients and those who care for them take a tour of the galleries on Tuesdays when the Museum is typically closed. They benefit from the mental stimulation that comes from seeing and discussing art. Since this program was established, many patients have significantly improved memory, cognitive awareness, and self-expression.

Art therapy helps inmates deal with their fears, resentments, and anger. They learn about themselves and what drove them to commit a crime by creating. Additionally, making art gives many people a chance to learn a skill that can improve their lives and those of others.

People with mental or physical disabilities can find balance, self-esteem, and enjoyment in the art and the creative process. Through the inventive strategy, firmly established sentiments arise in a delicate, sustaining air. People can face their greatest fears, anxieties, and challenges by creating art that expresses them. The overwhelming proportion often decreases when it is identified, viewed, and discussed. Participants in a group realize that others share their anxieties and challenges. Because the underlying cause of an eating disorder is frequently concealed and emerges through art, it can be addressed and, in some cases, cured through creativity.

How art therapy works

Art therapy, when done in a professional setting, helps people with mental illness, Alzheimer’s disease, and the elderly regain their sense of self. Making art provides sensory stimulation where there is a lack of sense of self and stimulation. This is demonstrated using all possible artistry materials and abilities, including painting, drawing, water tone, montage, or figure.

For instance, college helps people feel connected and like they are putting things back together. The juxtaposition of identifiable images that resonate in the individual’s experience is the subject of creating a collage, which can bridge the communication gap between a person’s anxiety or fear and the outside world. Through discussion with an art therapist who can interpret what the patient’s artwork says about their behaviour and challenges, the patient can identify what prevents them from thinking clearly and thriving.

The Meet At MOMA Program demonstrates that memory-making regions of the brain are affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Art helps to stimulate the parietal lobe. A painting encourages a dialogue with the viewer when viewed by a patient. In response to the visual response, questions and interpretations arise. People who cannot remember their names or the names of loved ones can frequently discuss what they see in a painting and express their interpretations. Frequently, memories are also triggered, and forgotten things are brought up in conversation.

Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle. 

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