Expressive Arts Therapy promotes human dignity and improves quality of life
It is defined as the use of an art medium in the treatment, rehabilitation, education, and training of persons with physical, mental, and emotional disorders. Examples include visual art, music, literature (bibliotherapy or poetry therapy), drama, dance & movement, often combined with reminiscence. Benefits of expressive arts therapy have been shown regarding mood, behavior, function, and cognition. Cognitive Dynamics can bring the transforming power of the arts to you, your loved ones, and your colleagues.
Art therapy is the deliberate use of art-making to address psychological and emotional needs. Its benefits include fostering self-expression, enhancing coping skills, managing stress, and strengthening a sense of self. This translates into improved communication, behavior, and cognition. All of this, plus strengthened relationships, combine to enhance quality of life.
The dramatic positive effects of music therapy have been shown in a substantial body of literature. Benefits include improved cognitive function, social skills, communication and behavior (including reduced agitation and behavioral problems). The sensory and intellectual stimulation of music can heighten quality of life for the patient and care giver.
Drama simultaneously engages the human mind and spirit. This form of therapy uses drama/theatre processes and products to achieve symptom relief, emotional and physical integration, and personal growth. It facilitates the client’s ability to tell his/her story, solve problems, set goals, express feelings appropriately, extend the depth and breadth of inner experience, improve interpersonal skills and relationships. Cognitive and com- munication skills are maximized, creativity and individuality are fostered; and physical activity is encouraged. Such therapy builds community and strengthens self-esteem.
Just like all of us, cognitively-impaired individuals have a life story and the need to be heard. They also have a need to create. This form of therapy employs the language arts to promote healing and well-being. It encompasses creative writing, storytelling and reminiscing, poetry reading and writing, etc. Benefits include cognitive stimulation, reminiscence and reflection on one’s life story, a therapeutic release of life’s stressors, and facilitation of meaningful communication between care givers and patients.