Walk Art Drama Music Therapy
“The fun and creative side of therapy that I find exciting and challenging.”
Clients enjoy the freedom and change of pace this form of therapy provides.
Walk/Art/Drama/Music therapy certainly does not fit the image of a client on the couch beside Freud.
It mimics more the images of a child running through a field, a man painting on an easel, or a woman sitting back enjoying the peace of calming music. Visualize these images in your mind.
If you can experience the relaxation, the openness, the yearning and the curiosity that comes with these images you are beginning to see what art therapy can bring to your mind.
“We are all artists who are trapped in the stone walls of social acceptance”
I invite you to break down these walls, explore, recreate and accept and energize yourself.
What is Walk Therapy
Walking for 40 minutes to 60 minutes 3 times a week has been co-related to lower levels of depression, anxiety and higher levels of concentration and memory. Walk therapy address the mind body connection and is a holistic form of psychotherapy. Clients and I walk at a pace that is comfortable for the client, weather permitting and talk instead of sitting in the office for the session. We come back to the office, summarize our discussion, write down notes and homework assignments at the end of the walk to wrap up the session.
Origin of Walk Therapy in SPIRITherapy
The idea of combining exercise and talking came from a time in my life when it was difficult for me to find time to exercise. I asked the therapists and interns I supervised to go walking with me. Walking supervision was an uplifting experience for me and my colleagues.
At the same time I was also learning more about the physiology of trauma and anxiety and yoga. I started using the combination of yoga, meditation and exercise.
Clients reported a significant reduction of anxiety, being less irritable, increase in self-esteem, ability to sleep better, making better choices, feeling more connected, and wanting to continue this form of therapy.
This motivated me to learn more about physiology, yoga and meditation so that I could help clients.
This was also the seed that grew my idea for SPIRITherapy.
What is the history of Art Therapy?
Art and drama therapy, expressive art, were initially rooted in Freud and Jung’s theories of the subconscious. This form of therapy is based on the assumption that visual symbols and images are a natural form of communicating the human experience and can be accessed and interpreted easily.
More recently, studies in the neurology of trauma victims indicate that traumatic memories are stored as images in the brain. Art may be the only way to access these memories in order to facilitate the client facing the trauma and moving toward healing.
What is Art Therapy?
Clients are invited to draw, paint, color, or make collages. There may specific instructions given to the client or the client may be asked to choose what they may want to express. Sometimes some specific drawings are used and the client is asked to add to it or express what they may to change in it.
I then explore what the art represents. I may ask specific questions or make observations. The art, and the process in which the client creates it helps the client become more aware of themselves. Art can sometimes be a springboard for more exploration. Art can symbolize changes that may be happening or represent a commitment to change.
What is Music Therapy?
I sometimes add music in the background. Some types of music encourage relaxation, other types of music open up emotional states that are suppressed. Music may enable a client to relax enough to be less restrained and stimulate their emotional side.
In therapy clients are encouraged to visualize, and then create; the thoughts and emotions that they cannot talk about into drawings or possibly a story that can be acted out.
What is Drama Therapy?
Drama therapy can involve role plays that are enacted in session.
The client may be invited to journal or create a metaphorical story that helps them express their story in a safe way. Enacting the story can be cathartic and can facilitate creative problem solving.
Who are the best clients for this type of therapy?
Any client, individual, groups or families can benefit from this form of therapy since it accesses a core ability and need in all individuals: the need to communicate and express ones story. The idea is not to create a work of art, but to allow your mind to freely express itself and enjoy the process of creativity without self or other judgment.
What are the benefits of Art/Drama/Music therapy?
Call to mind the image of a house, princess, cave man drawing or Egyptian hieroglyphics. Close your eyes and imagine a time when you got to pretend to be something. Was that easy or difficult?
Art and drama allow for uninhibited expression of self and emotional issues that may otherwise be suppressed.
Art enables the client and the therapist to work together in addressing difficult issues in a constructive manner.
Drama allows for the practice of new communication and skills in a safe environment with guidance from me.
Art therapy is a very useful treatment tool for children, and adolescents who may not be able to verbalize their feelings because of language or emotional development.
Expression in the art, writing or role playing can be cathartic as well as insightful.