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-   -   Art Therapy vs. Recreation Therapy (http://www.behavior.net/bolforums/showthread.php?t=762)

Keggys March 18th, 2006 06:20 PM

Art Therapy vs. Recreation Therapy
 
Can anyone help me clearly explain the difference between Art Therapy and recreation therapy? As much as I may know about Art Therapy, I know little about recreation therapy. My impression of recreation therapy is that it is to help people with their leisure skills, making it theraputic in nature, but this is not psychotherapy.

Recreation (I believe) is done for personal pleasure or education. This means that doing art or music with a client does not neccessarily mean it is Art Therapy even though it may be theraputic in nature.

I plan to write up something to use in my facility. Any help is appreciated.

amyhalper May 12th, 2006 11:12 AM

Re: Art Therapy vs. Recreation Therapy
 
I struggle with this question daily. As a trained Art Therapist with a Master's degree I work in a Recreation Department surrounded by co-workers and supervisors with bearly a High School education. As a state employee I am placed on a pay range with co-workers with little to no experience and education, as well. I will be the first to admit the value that recreation provides with the clients I work with, but to clump Art Therapy with Recreation (which is commonplace in the state system) only serves to devalue the Art Therapy program and the art therapist as a clinician.

Martin Perdoux May 12th, 2006 04:18 PM

Re: Art Therapy vs. Recreation Therapy
 
As Keggys and amyhalper both pointed out, the difference between art therapy and recreation therapy is often academic. In practice, most employers are insensitive to what makes each discipline unique, because they have not been properly educated about what each has to offer. To make matters worse, a government agency like amyhalper' employer operates according to existing categories that were not created with the academic identities of therapeutic fields in mind. Recreational therapy was just easier to grasp than art therapy for the people who created this employment structure, or a rec therapist just happened to be the one who developed the State program. Regardless of how it began, the reality of practice is now that recreational therapy is more entrenched than art therapy in institutional environments. This reality greatly limits the practice of art therapy.
It is up to art therapy educators to reflect the current reality of practice, not the practice of five years ago, and to give art therapists the tools they need to create favorable work environments, instead of continuing to steer recent graduates into institutions that are hostile to art therapy and end up turning it into something else entirely.

Keggys August 12th, 2006 06:39 PM

Re: Art Therapy vs. Recreation Therapy
 
Amy, I also work in a state hospital and have been developing my program single handedly for the past year. The recreation therapists are greatly offended by just about everything I say and claim to be art therapists as well. I work with a few in particular who call themselves "Creative Arts Therapists" despite the fact this is now a licensed profession in my state, and they have no license.
The problem becomes much more difficult when you consider I work with patients (many borderline) who want to know what the difference between my program and the other "therapists". As much as I explain that I am a psychotherapist and licensed, they tell me the other therapist tell them the same thing.
The third thing that also concerns me are the interns who work with these other therapists. Imagine doing several hundred hours of internship with someone who wasn't qualified to sign off on it. :mad:
And yes.. the pay...another very difficult thing to understand why other professions who may not even be licensed, get substantially higher pay then we do.
In my hospital in order to get a promotion I have to pass a recreation test, which I did... but, this is not where my education is.
I wish we could organize ourselves and share what we know. If you want to talk.... we can. :)

amyhalper August 15th, 2006 07:54 AM

Re: Art Therapy vs. Recreation Therapy
 
Keggys,
Thanks for the email heads up concerning your response. You were right, I didn't check these postings. :o
But I feel your pain in this issue. For me it's the love of the field and discipline we are in that motivates me to get beyond this daily struggle. It's the intrinsic value of the work that we bring to our clients that makes it all worth it. The unfortunate aspect, is the lack of understanding and recognition of our fellow staff. I hoped that after all these years the AATA would have done more to develop trainings or spread the word about the importance of Art Therapy in an inpatient setting. But instead, it has been left to the device of us already overworked and underpaid service providers.
I suppose this is a good forum to vent our frustrations, but that doesn't help the situation. We really need to band together somehow to perhaps develop a staff inservice which would be particularly vital in the inpatient setting. Perhaps something to think about. Maybe we want to put our heads together on this one.
Look forward to hearing from you. :)
Amy

D.Biami October 28th, 2009 08:51 AM

Art Therapy vs Recreation Therapy
 
Kewl SO, what is it like from the "getting" end? I really know almost nothing about it. It just "sounds good" so far. I understand if it is too personal to share if it would help--feel free to PM me? about therapy--but I dont need your personal specifics--Im just trying to get an idea what kind of things the therapist does. Any info will add to the vague idea I have right now
Thanks for responding

Cockburn May 14th, 2010 01:22 AM

Re: Art Therapy vs. Recreation Therapy
 
I have participated in art therapy as a patient. I have done it at a few different hospitals. The therapist, who had a master's degree in art therapy, Would give us some supplies and we could do want we wanted. After, she would have each of us show our piece and explain what it was. Then the therapist would do some voo doo mind tricks on us, and by that I mean she psycho analyzed our work.

namratasnv May 18th, 2010 08:59 AM

Re: Art Therapy vs. Recreation Therapy
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cockburn (Post 6842)
I have participated in art therapy as a patient. I have done it at a few different hospitals. The therapist, who had a master's degree in art therapy, Would give us some supplies and we could do want we wanted. After, she would have each of us show our piece and explain what it was. Then the therapist would do some voo doo mind tricks on us, and by that I mean she psycho analyzed our work.

This is the first time I heard about this as, I have heard about this but not that much as, I just wanted to know more about art therapy as what is the importance and how the patients get recover from this.

Thanks

Keggys May 28th, 2010 11:45 PM

Re: Art Therapy vs. Recreation Therapy
 
Its too bad this board isn't working right, I never knew you replied to my post.

I don't see ATTA doing anything to help us in any fashion so I will not renew my membership.

eLayla August 24th, 2010 06:39 AM

Re: Art Therapy vs. Recreation Therapy
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cockburn (Post 6842)
I have participated in art therapy as a patient. I have done it at a few different hospitals. The therapist, who had a master's degree in art therapy, Would give us some supplies and we could do want we wanted. After, she would have each of us show our piece and explain what it was. Then the therapist would do some voo doo mind tricks on us, and by that I mean she psycho analyzed our work.

I've read about art therapy and experienced some graduate course creative therapy workshops, there seem to be different approaches, some like described here and some more structured (eg 'Draw your feelings and talk about it with a partner') sometimes combined with other modailities (dance, movement, drama...)

It seems there are very many different therapies and approaches both in the 'talk therapy' and in the 'creative arts' areas... So this may make things seem a bit scattered.. I and others have experienced therapeutic benefits of drama/theatre and art even when they weren't officially 'therapeutic', so hmm...? It would be good to have things more organized I guess, and to give even some creative arts teachers and other teachers knowledge about the basics etc. like what Renee Emunah writes in the book Drama Therapy - that tools can be muuch more widely applicable than just the 'therapy' field. Of course work and job descriptions and evaluations, as well as education, would probably need to change then too..

I wasn't even aware of Recreation Therapy as such, not sure if it exists in my country (I am not from the USA).


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