Art as Therapy

August 21, 2017


Art is a form of expression and while you express it any given form it works for you as a therapy and becomes Expressive therapy. And imagine how powerful would it be if art as an expression was showcased by people who are struggling through many mental, physical and emotional challenges. In a recently conducted art therapy workshop by Art on the Wall and Shafa Home, art was used as a therapy medium to help and express better the residents of Shafa Home.

Shafa Home is a home away from home, for hundreds of recovering drug dependents, by assisting them in regaining their self-esteem and self-worth. Primarily, they work closely with drug dependents by using holistic treatment approach to make their lives better. They also work with people with mental challenges, distorted married relations, a rebellious child as a result of broken family, old parents neglected due to an alcoholic son, or a deviant child. As a part of their Therapeutic Community Model programme, they have collaborated with Art on the Wall to conduct art workshops with different themes and subjects to bring out and make a colourful life for their residents .

In the recently conducted workshop, Ms. Kritika Mahindra, co-founder of Art on the wall held Art with Yoga session wherein the residents of varied age groups and addiction issues created art work by first doing a breathing technique of yoga and then while using the technique creating art work by blowing color drops with a straw on paper. '' We generally do not realize but art is one of those mediums of expression which can be done in any given way and there are no rights and wrongs of doing it '' says Ms. Mahindra. During the one hour workshop, the participants felt how by controlling on their breathing and blowing the straw is related with them being in their own control and to seek the right direction they want to proceed in their life. '' How beautifully the participants expressed and channelized their energies , mind and soul by blending colours not just on paper but in their life, was inspiring,'' adds Ms. Mahindra who would be using the art work collected from two art workshops conducted with the residents to make a wall mural for Shafa Home.

 During the journey of Shafa’s last 23 years, it has made to realize that the age old practices of treatment need to be constantly refreshed by adding creative and innovative practices. We were the first to use dance and theatre as our treatment modalities. And this year, we wanted to add art as a therapy. Though our psychologists have been using art as a therapeutic tool yet by associating with “Art on the Wall”, art was used a form of expression. Expression has always been a problem with people living with dependency. Hence they would resort to various mood altering substances. In treatment, various other life skills for their expression need to be inculcated. Hope the forth coming workshops with “Art on the Wall” will guide them the way.

Such interesting and therapy art workshops will be conducted with the residents to explore their feelings, self-discover, improve cognitive and mental capabilities and most importantly to enjoy and be a kid again.



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