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Losing Yourself In Art Essay

2133 words - 9 pages

Most people have had to take multiple art classes through their years in school. In elementary through middle school, it is a required class for most students. In high school it is considered a fine art, which means that it is not fully required, but most students take an introduction to art class of some kind. Then in college, it is not a requirement, but it is strongly suggested for most to take the class. Depending on the college, it also counts as a fine art credit. Usually, students who only take these classes as a credit take introduction to art. This is where people sometimes discover how much they like art classes. For some, art is relaxing and fun, it is an easy way to express one’s self and to lose themselves in such a healthy way. There is a well-known quote that says, “Art helps you to not only lose yourself, but find yourself in the process.” Through the research I have done, I find this to be completely true for people who participate in art therapy. Even though it is not a very widely known therapy, art therapy is a technique that combines a safe place to talk about anything going on in a person’s life, with any form of art which can benefit many people.
Art therapy can be utilized by the therapist in two different ways. The first way, the therapist talks to the patient as the patient draws. They not only listen to what the person is saying, but also observe non-verbals which is, how they act while drawing. When the patient is drawing, he/she is more likely to open up for conversations. For children especially, it is easier to use the art as almost a distraction. It can help them to talk about whatever may come to their minds, or answer questions without really thinking too hard about it because their focus would be on whatever they were drawing. (Emily Crawforda, Julien Grossa, Tess Pattersonb, and Harlene Haynea, 199) For the second way, the counselor lets the patient draw as much as he/she wants, and then interprets the drawing. One way of doing this would be to ask the patient to draw something (whether that be whatever they wanted to draw, or asking them to draw something specific) and then either analyzing it, or asking the patient to tell them what it is, or both. When counselors assess what was drawn, they look at multiple parts of the drawing. In 1996, Norbert Schwartz said, “If artwork serves as a communication, an expression or a projection of the lifestyle and mistaken beliefs, it can only fulfill its function with an observer,” (228). He viewed this as the only way to use art therapy because the patient would be so into his or her art that they would not be able to do fully communicate what they were expressing.
Therapists look at many things when assessing the art; they look at color, form, size, and placement of objects on a page (e.g., Hammer, 1997, Malchiodi, 1998; Oppawsky, 1991; Oster & Crone, 2004; Sourkes, 1991; Taylor, et al., 1998, 199). But before they knew everything they know now, they did not know how...

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