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  #1  
Unread April 15th, 2007, 04:42 PM
Keggys Keggys is offline
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Default Anti art therapy

I thought maybe this would be a good place to post this. I got an email about a rehabilitation center in NY where they are prommoting "non-art therapy" Someone did a documentary on this site where artists work with disabled individuals and determined it is much better than art therapy. It is being offered to be shown on PBS nationwide.

This is what I copy and pasted from their website yesterday...
“From the beginning the Art Studio at Northeast Center for Special Care is a part of a larger mission of rehabilitation, recovery and community reentry of individuals with brain injury and other disorders – to recognize the dignity and value of each individual. That is why the program is under the supervision of an artist. The program is therapeutic, but it is not art therapy. It is one of many innovative and alternative treatment modalities we employ at Northeast Center for Special Care”
Looks like it was edited a little today.
http://www.northeastcenter.com/artstudio.htm

I don't have the documentary "Changing Identies" but a link to the site where the pbs film was made. It has a few demo clips but says little about art therapy, and a link to the site where they claim it is not art therapy, but theraputic art.
http://www.picturetheory.org/documentary.html hit documentary and sample clips.
Since art therapy is a licensed profession in NY one would think this could not be done.
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  #2  
Unread August 13th, 2007, 05:06 PM
Martin Perdoux Martin Perdoux is offline
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Lightbulb Re: Anti art therapy

Thank you for posting these links. I looked at this briefly, and it seems like a program that has managed to keep the therapeutic essence of art alive, while fulfilling the administrative requirements of being a program--a rarity. It is not a new idea; the superiority of the artist-in-residence model was touted years ago by art therapists like Shaun McNiff and Pat Allen, as an alternative to the "clinification" of art therapy (Allen).
I hope that art therapists will seek to learn from such a program with an open mind, rather than view it as something misrepresenting itself as art therapy. Many Art Therapists unfortunately distance themselves so much from their own creative process as artists that people like the ones in this program are forced to print a disclaimer that they are not art therapy. We have arrived at an absurd situation where the few places that still offer art-making that is actually therapeutic have to take defensive action to protect themselves against art therapists. Why not collaborate? Are art therapists afraid they might actually learn something from artists?
One last note: when a field professionalizes and appropriates a natural process like healing through art-making--which is a little like charging people for the air they breathe--its members should not be surprised when they encounter this natural process under a different name. In my opinion, this encounter should elicit wonder, respect, and maybe curiosity, but not litigious territoriality.
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  #3  
Unread January 31st, 2008, 01:46 PM
Judy Nichols-Evans Judy Nichols-Evans is offline
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Default Re: Anti art therapy

Art that isn't therapy doesn't exist - even for fine artists or those making a living creating art. As a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist through the International Expressive Arts Therapy Assoc. I believe that the greatest woundings that our society current feel are because we don't know how to be creative anymore. We leave it to the "masters" and forget that everyone can be creative. So then as Healers we see the need and want to help - we want to provide opportunities for EVERYONE to make art - and not just those populations that present with obvious needs.

Last edited by Judy Nichols-Evans; January 31st, 2008 at 02:25 PM. Reason: typo
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  #4  
Unread October 15th, 2008, 08:00 PM
Keggys Keggys is offline
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Default Re: Anti art therapy

I understand the sentiment but I do not agree. First, I know of places like this who not only say its not therapy, and follow it with what they do is better, which I believe is what this site is doing as well.
Second, and more importantly, by saying anyone can do this makes me wonder why we do all the work and study we have done. I work at a site where untrained people do art with severely mentally ill people, some as therapists and some as artists. I see how their lack of knowledge hurts the clients.
I agree that you need not be a master to appreciate the making of art and that everyone should do it. But I feel very strongly that persons who are doing art with people with any type of special needs need to understand the process and know what they are doing.
You all know how extremely benefical it is to give a person a safe setting and the right materials. Giving the wrong materials, not providing that safe setting, not understanding the process can have an extreme effect as well, it is not beneficial and can be quite harmful.
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  #5  
Unread August 24th, 2010, 06:59 AM
eLayla eLayla is offline
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Default Re: Anti art therapy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keggys View Post
I work at a site where untrained people do art with severely mentally ill people, some as therapists and some as artists. I see how their lack of knowledge hurts the clients.

I feel very strongly that persons who are doing art with people with any type of special needs need to understand the process and know what they are doing.
You all know how extremely benefical it is to give a person a safe setting and the right materials. Giving the wrong materials, not providing that safe setting, not understanding the process can have an extreme effect as well, it is not beneficial and can be quite harmful.
Keggys, very interesting. Can you write more about this?
Are you aware of any helpful literature, links or manuals/courses for training volunteers? (not just for working with mentally ill, also with kids and kids with special needs)
In some settings, it just seems impossible to have everyone trained 'properly', guidelines on safe materials and safe settings and understanding the process could be helpful in that case.
Art therapists could perhaps provide 'training' and insight and supervision...

Some art can actually be more therapeutic than 'art therapy' because it means 'creating something' (if you read Bono's biography, he was against going to therapy but opened up for writing a book about him), and the act of creativity that means something to other people too can be therapeutic itself.

Maybe some 'anti therapy' sentiments just stem from stigmatizing any 'therapy'... (At least where I live.) This could change if 'art therapy' would be offered in 'non-therapy' settings too..

I do think with YouTube and easy computer recording almost 'everyone is an artist'... People may still need some insight into why things are the way they are or some structure etc.
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