Creative arts therapies are defined as the use of art, music, drama, dance/ movement, poetry/ creative writing, bibliotherapy, play and sandplay within the context of psychotherapy, counselling, rehabilitation or medicine.
The therapeutic impact of creative arts therapy is focused on different areas like expression, imagination, active participation and mind-body connection.
Therapist uses personalized approach and chooses the type and level of intervention that best addresses individual’s or group’s problems on the basis of their characteristics and therapeutic needs.
The intervention levels of creative arts therapies are:
- Diagnostic level. Creative arts therapy is therapy is used to help gain insight into the perspective and level of awareness of the patient to evaluate, interpret, diagnose select treatment plans that will work most effectively for the patient.
- Psychotherapeutic levels. Therapy embraces the idea that art is a means of symbolic communication and expresses personality, emotions and other aspects of human experience. Therapist uses forms of psychotherapy and counselling theories (psychodynamic, humanistic-existential, cognitive-behavioural and transpersonal) to improve patient’s mental health, self-efficacy, emotional balance and social interaction.
- Functional level. Creative arts therapy is used to retrain patients with physical, mental or emotional health problems. Interventions are designed to incorporate task and context specific practice in areas meaningful to each patient, with an overall goal of functional independence.
- Palliative level. The aim of the therapy in palliative care is to enable patients to artistically express buried emotions, cope with grief, fear, anxiety or depression. Visual fine art appreciation and hands-on painting help relax their emotional state.
- Recreational level. Creativity and recreation are combined to restore, remediate and rehabilitate a person’s level of functioning and independence in life activities, to promote health and wellness as well as reduce or eliminate the activity limitations and restrictions to participation in life situations caused by an illness or disabling condition.