Tuesday, February 2, 2010

February Art Therapy Techniques

Welcome to all of my new followers! This month the theme at my work place is "Exploring the Bayou"; so think Mardi Gras, jazz music, voodoo, beignets and pralines! As an art therapist in this venue I try to tie my sessions in with the facilities theme; of course sometimes I stray and go with what is needed for the residents at the time. This following post will be all of my February art therapy tasks, follow me as I update new techniques throughout the month. As always, feel free to add your own comments, ideas, constructive criticism, and art therapy tasks.

Jazzy Art Project
Population: Geriatrics, adults, children
Media: Jazz tape or CD, tape or CD player, 11" x 14" or larger paper, acrylic paints of various colors, large paint brushes or foam brushes, and plates or pallets for the paint.
Description: Begin by playing jazz music. Have the group use their arms to direct the musicians through one song. Now think bigger, if possible have the group stand up to use their whole body to move to the music. Suggest waving arms in the air, moving hips, stomping feet, whatever the song calls for. If the members can't stand have them do whatever body movements they can in their chair. Now pass out paper and paints. Have the group listen to an upbeat jazz song and paint how the music sounds. What color is the music? Is it jagged lines or wavy? Does it call to mind a picture? Or specify there to be no imagery and only shapes and colors. Once the song is over change to a slow and moody song. Have the participants use the paint again to give life to the music. Now compare the pictures. Did the paintings change in color or shape? What are the feelings that the picture conjures up? Process with the group.

Crystal Ball (This project was designed with Ground Hogs day in mind)
Population: Geriatric, adult, children
Media: 11" x 14" paper with a large circle and a base pre-drawn (a crystal ball), markers, pencils, and/ or oil pastels of varying colors.
Description: Begin the group by discussing what a crystal ball is. What is it supposed to tell the person looking into it? Like the ground-hog predicts the length of our winter, what do you predict for yourself come spring time while looking into your crystal ball? Ask the members to draw into the crystal ball what they hope for themselves in the future. Is it flowers? Family visits? A good grade? A birthday party? The options are countless and it creates a pictures of images to look forward to. Have each member share what they see in their crystal ball with the group. Can people relate to one another? Process feelings through with the group.

What art therapy techniques have you done recently?