Monday, April 19, 2010

Useful Therapies

MUSIC AND ARTS THERAPY

Art therapy is the use of art to help resolve conflicts and promote self-awareness through non-verbal media. Art therapy is also a form of expressive therapy that uses art materials, such as paints, chalk and markers. Art therapy combines traditional psychotherapeutic theories and techniques with an understanding of the psychological aspects of the creative process, especially the affective properties of the different art materials.

As a mental health profession, art therapy is employed in many clinical settings with diverse populations. Art therapy can be found in non-clinical settings as well, such as in art studios and in workshops that focus on creativity development. Art therapists work with children, adolescents, and adults and provide services to individuals, couples, families, groups, and communities.

Music therapy is the use of music in a defined structure to bring about change and promote self-organization, social connection, and expression. Music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a qualified professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.

In other words, music therapy is the use of music by a trained professional to achieve therapeutic goals. Goal areas include, but are not limited to, motor skills, social/interpersonal development, cognitive development, self-awareness, and spiritual enhancement. Music therapy is now an established health service similar to occupational therapy and physical therapy. Music therapists use music to facilitate changes that are non-musical in nature. The use of music for those with arthritis provides opportunity for pain relief, anxiety and stress reduction and positive changes in both mood and emotional state.

Music therapists are found in nearly every area of the helping professions. Some commonly found practices include developmental work (communication, motor skills, etc.) with individuals with special needs, songwriting and listening in reminiscence/orientation work with the elderly, processing and relaxation work, and rhythmic entrainment for physical rehabilitation in stroke victims.

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