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Art Therapy Essay

1307 words - 5 pages

Art therapy activities can be accomplished using different materials. The activities can be done with pencils, paints, and multiple construction materials. Drawing supplies may include colored pencils, drawing pencils, thick and thin markers and oil pastels. Painting supplies may include watercolors, liquid or caked tempera paint, and brushes that are a variety of sizes and thickness. Construction materials may include but are not limited to clay, homemade dough, white glue, glue sticks, and tapes. A variety of sizes of drawing paper, watercolor paper and construction paper may be good to have on hand. Safety scissors and other nontoxic supplies should be considered for the safety of the client.
An example of an art therapy program is the Rialto Jean Project. The project uses the Rialto Jean denim line and A-list actors and actresses who are part of the companies fan base. Each pair of jeans has a different design and is uniquely made (See addendum). The project involves working with children from the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California. The Rialto Jean Project believes the theory that art “can help young patients find a sense of hope and increase self esteem, autonomy and competence, while offering opportunities to express their feelings safely while providing a solid foundation for healing” (“Giving Back”). The art therapy program at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles was started in 1991 by Mark Taper and the Jonny Mercer Artists Program. The Jonny Mercer Artists Program made the effort to incorporate visual arts, music, dance and expressive art therapy to a pediatric medical setting. This form of therapy helps patients express their thoughts about their illness and has played a role in helping alleviate pain and accelerating recovery time. Nicole Albers, an art therapist at the Children’s Hospital, says that “art therapy provides the opportunity for the patient to be empowered and make choices about what they want to share through their artwork. When I work with a patient for the first time, I explain ‘sometimes it’s hard to talk about what’s going on in the hospital. There are a lot of adults here making decisions about what is best for you. Art therapy gives you a way to express yourself in a different way. You get to be in charge of what we do and you get to make all the choices’” (“Giving Back”). The hospital and the Rialto Jean Project are working together to provide additional staff, iPads for long term patients to communicate through Skype and FaceTime, Macbook Pro laptops for graphic design and music composition, art supplies, Photoshop software, projectors and video cameras for the hospital.
Art therapy activities can be used for different areas of everyday life. Different activities can be used to help manage emotions, help for relaxation, self portraits, and other miscellaneous things. An activity for managing emotions can be a balloon release to celebrate an event or to let go of negative thoughts. Make...

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