Healing Arts Programs aim to help people receiving medical care or those needing counsel or support to take up a therapeutic practice. They can be found in a range of locations, and use different arts to facilitate personal development. The following article looks at the work of Healing Arts Programs.
The work of Healing Arts
The healing arts can be writing, music, painting, drawing or dancing. All art forms are used in an enabling and empowering way so that the participant can express themselves. They may be troubled by depression, mental illness, physical disability or substance abuse, and the healing arts help to aid their road to recovery and acceptance of who they are. Where they are Healing Arts Programs give people an outlet at times of stress and unhappiness. They can be found in various locations. Hospitals may have a Healing Arts Program running as well as community centres, prisons, rehabilitation centres, hospices and colleges. Exploring emotions Activities and workshops are given by established artists and facilitators who specialise in an art genre. People are encouraged to use art to explore their current situation and what they are thinking and feeling. This can be on a regular weekly basis or as a one-off. Some hospitals and prisons have artists in residence that provide a service throughout the week.
Drawing and painting programs are amongst the most popular. Materials are provided and people can freely express themselves through this medium. They do not have to speak in groups or discuss their situation, but can just paint out emotions and feelings. Canvas and paper are provided. Moreover, for people in hospital or prison, they are given a project to return, thus giving them an outlet and something to distract them from their current situation. Writing programs Writing is another medium that is used frequently. Workshops are given to help people to understand how writing can help. This can be done in group sessions or when they are on their own. Writing is particularly good for people who have issues that have gone unexpressed. They can write letters that won’t be sent to people who have caused them pain, and this way they can rid themselves of the negative feelings. Cooking programs Cookery classes have also been used, where the texture and aromas of cooking have a feel-good effect. Producing a meal or preparing a delicacy are good for the well-being, and give a sense of achievement.