TEACHING ART AS A THERAPEUTIC METHOD IN PSYCHOMOTOR REHABILITATION
, M.L. Gacto2
1Universidad Católica San Antonio, Murcia (SPAIN)
2Universidad de Murcia (SPAIN)
This study deals with teaching innovations concerning two often disregarded disciplines, art and physiotherapy. The use of Art and its teaching as a an attempt to show innovations of our teaching the involvement of differential patterns of psychomotor functioning is evident in all human being’s stages in life. In childhood, incidence or prevalence of abnormalities in the motor development means one of the greatest problems that pediatric rehabilitation has to face nowadays, due to the motivational and therapeutic challenge that it involves. In the adult, several causes might affect motor abilities. Finally, in the old age, psychomotor regression syndromes are frequently diagnosed often associated to the unavoidable ageing process.
For these reasons we find important to teach rehabilitation professionals to have an important profusion of therapies in order to face this kind of troubles. In this conceptual framework we can find the Art therapy, significantly developped during 20th century: this kind of therapy is based on the use of the creative process, as a way to reach a therapeutic target. Thus, in this therapy, several artistic disciplines become potential instruments at the service of the therapeutic process. The American Art Therapy Association describes it as "the therapeutic use of art making, within a professional relationship, by people who experience illness, trauma or challenges in living, and by people who seek personal development. Through creating art and reflecting on the art products and processes, people can increase awareness of self and others cope with symptoms, stress and traumatic experiences; enhance cognitive abilities; and enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of making art”(1). Creativity is, therefore, and outstanding feature in this therapy, as it is in life.
The purpose of art therapy is, essentially, to heal the person, but even without a total healing of the patient, the benefits of art therapy concerning mental health and wellness might be important, since it has been demonstrated that differential patterns of psychomotor functioning appear depending on different mental or psychological conditions (2). Consequently, art therapy may be applied to people showing physical, mental or emotional disorders. Any type of art medium can be employed within the therapeutic process, including painting, drawing, sculpting, photography, dance or sculpture, for instance. Art therapy is an efficient instrument when applied to people with memory loss due to diseases that entail, frequently, motor regression, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have also demonstrated the efficacy of art therapy applied to people with stroke residuals, traumatic brain injury, or dealing with chronic illness (3-4).
(2) Pier MP, Hulstijn W, Sabbe BG. Differential patterns of psychomotor functioning in unmedicated melancholic and nonmelancholic depressed patients. J Psychiatr Res. 2004 Jul-Aug; 38(4): 425-35.
(3) Kim, S-K., Kim, M.-Y., Lee, J.-H., & Chun, S.-I. (2008). Art therapy outcomes in the rehabilitation treatment of a stroke patient: A case report. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 25(3), 129-133
(4) Deane, K., Fitch, M., & Carman, M. (2000). An innovative art therapy program for cancer patients. Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal, 10(4), 147-51, 152-157