Title

Visual transformation-using Art as therapy

Location

Harborside Center

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Mental & Physical Health

Relevance

II. “Heart” Social & Emotional Skills

Resilience, Self-Esteem, Positive identity development, life skills, and

communication skills

IV. “Health” Mental & Physical Health

Intervention, counseling & therapy, treatment programs, physical/emotional/

mental disorders

Brief Program Description

See how Art therapy can enhance brain activity of youth that have

experienced trauma, stress, and emotional or mental disorders in order to

develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, and increase

self-esteem and identity.

Summary

Traditional forms of therapy rely on the patient to respond verbally when children and adolescents are less capable or sometimes inexperienced in expressing themselves thru words mainly with trust issues associated with adults. Art therapy can use the creativity to indirectly explore deeper issues while the child escapes the harsh realities of emotional stressful situations. The art making can serve as a tool to release negative energies in a positive manner for psychological healing in ways that words cannot express. Art making in itself has proven to increase self-esteem, social skills, build self-awareness, relieve stress and strengthen confidence. Stress and trauma inhibits the brain’s ability to function properly or for a child to learn. We have a high population of students with environmental situations, autism, and mental disorders that have created dysfunctions which have caused stress, trauma, and other mental issues and they would benefit from an outlet that will facilitate showing how to move forward from such life situations that take the focus away from the academic side in order to get the brain functioning better to improve cognitive development. There are many facilities that cater to senior citizens and veterans but little to none which service our adolescent teens of poverty. This will help prepare our students for productive futures by being responsible citizens able to function properly in an environment of high stress.

Evidence

The creative process causes specific areas of the brain to release endorphins and other neurotransmitters that affect brain cells and the cells of the immune system, relieving pain and triggering the immune system to function more efficiently. Endorphins are like opiates, creating an experience of expansion, connection, and relaxation. In conjunction with these physiologic changes, art can regularly change people’s attitudes, emotional states, and perception of pain. (Lane, p. 122)

Extensive data on the positive impact of art therapy in schools for students with physical, learning, behavioral and emotional difficulties include the following findings:

• NYU longitudinal study (in press) showed elementary school report card data collected pre and post treatment showed improvement in both student effort and academic results.

• Incorporating art therapy into academic intervention for children with learning disabilities showed a decrease in troubling thoughts, psychosomatic symptoms, aggression and delinquency (Freilich & Shechtman, 2010);

• At-risk eighth grade students displayed heightened coping skills and a decrease in disruptive behaviors as a result of art therapy services (Spier, 2010);

• “Problem behaviors,” such as acting out, poor concentration and defiance were reduced “significantly” after art therapy treatment (Saunders and Saunders, 2000).

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Art educator for over 16 years in both alternative, urban,

and high poverty schools. I have a Master of Science from

Nova Southeastern in Brain Research with a concentration

Teaching and Learning. I have three consecutive years of

positive experience with high numbers of children with

Autism, trauma, stress, and emotional & mental disorders

of which all have shown significant improvements with my

exposure to Art therapy methods.

Keyword Descriptors

trauma, stress, emotional & mental disorders, autism, Art therapy, brain based

Presentation Year

2016

Start Date

3-8-2016 4:00 PM

End Date

3-8-2016 5:30 PM

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Mar 8th, 4:00 PM Mar 8th, 5:30 PM

Visual transformation-using Art as therapy

Harborside Center

See how Art therapy can enhance brain activity of youth that have

experienced trauma, stress, and emotional or mental disorders in order to

develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, and increase

self-esteem and identity.