Think of creative arts based therapies [art, music, movement] and animal assisted therapy as being mediums or tools. These mediums are used by therapists, during a guided therapy session, to encourage people to express feelings or events that may be difficult to talk about using conventional therapy sessions. Because creative therapies happen to also involve more of an individual’s senses the process feels more holistic and gentle, and can be more enjoyable and less confronting and intimidatory.
The answer to this is a definite ‘No’. You may never have picked up a paintbrush, learned to dance, played amusical instrument, or owned an animal for you to respond to a particular therapy type. We suggest that you contact us to discuss what your issue is, what you would like to achieve, and whether any of the therapies piques your interest.
Yes and no. For a therapy to work effectively involves multiple sessions of whichever therapy you have chosen, and we recommend that you work with one therapy type at a time rather than taking on two or more therapies. That said once you feel satisfied that you have achieved a great outcome, but feel like you would like to tackle another issue using a different therapy type, have a word with us to see what your next steps could be.
Art Therapy is an important therapeutic method that relies on visual and tactile expression to facilitate lasting change and growth. Art therapy integrates creative expression through visual art media with psychotherapeutic techniques to improve mental, physical and emotional well-being, by facilitating self-expression and developing new coping strategies.
The creative tools used are varied, but include drawing, painting, craft, colouring, sculpting, or collage.
As clients create art, they may reflect on what they have made and discern how it makes them feel. By exploring their art, people discover ideas and beliefs that subconsciously may be affecting their thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. The process is completely person-centred, even in a group scenario. Sounds complicated and layered, but it’s simply about trusting the creative process and letting go. There is no need to be artistic or skilled because it is the act of creating that forms the therapeutic process.
Art Therapy is for everyone from 4 to 94 years old, for business groups or the public. It is effective in transforming individual and group dynamics, creating self-awareness, building self-esteem, and for assisting people with social and intellectual issues, spectrum disorders, mental health challenges, life-threatening illnesses, and survivors of trauma.
Some ideas about who would benefit, but not limited to:
• those who have experienced trauma at a pre-verbal stage (early childhood)
• kids who lack the vocabulary to express themselves and teenagers who don’t enjoy talking
• survivors of trauma who are unable to verbalise painful events
• adults who find it difficult to express their feelings
• corporate groups who don’t have time to destress or who need to learn to work with each other, or effect change
• migrants who lack local language
• elderly, ill or palliative patients who may not have the energy to talk
We begin by checking in with you, and see if there is anything urgent you would like to express. If not, we offer art materials appropriate for the issues you are working on, your head space and emotional state at the time. There is art making, and if required, time to engage with the finished product. Insights are integrated and strategies outlined to encourage more positive thinking, effective behaviours and emotional rebalancing. If necessary, journaling may be encouraged between sessions.
No need to bring your art materials. We have oodles and oodles of paints, paper, craft materials and art supplies you probably never knew existed. Art supplies are on us.
There are soft comfy sofas in a peaceful, feng shui designed space where you can take a moment out of your busy schedule to sit, breathe and prepare yourself for your art therapy session. Your art therapist will come out to the front lobby to meet you and then bring you into the art therapy room.
Ah, so I hear that you think art therapy is only for the arty? Not so, my friend. It is about using the right side of the brain to create an expression of the blocks that are restricting you from moving forward. The messier the art, the clearer your heart will be.
As much as you may love to be a fly on the wall in your child’s art therapy session, you also probably know that it’s best not to. Kids may behave differently when not in eye sight of their parents, and that’s a good thing. Art therapists get to engage with the authentic side of children and allow them to express whatever is on their mind in a non-judged, confidential space where there are no expectations. The art therapist will welcome you both in the foyer, then gently guide your child to the art therapy room. During that time you can make a cuppa, buy a cuppa, take a walk, read or catch up on all those phone messages that await you. After the session, the best advice is not to ask them what they did but rather how it was? No need to see their art, question it or display it. It is their visual diary and often they may not even like what they have done. That’s ok because it is a true expression of what’s happening for them on the inside. That’s art therapy.
Art Therapy “originated in the twentieth century in response to the needs of clinical populations who were not being served effectively with traditional approaches to mental and physical health”.1a.
1a. Juliet L. King and Girija Kaimal, Approaches to Research in Art Therapy Using Imaging Technologies, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 17 May 2019.
2a. American Art Therapy Association (2021). “About Art Therapy”. Available online at: https://arttherapy.org/about-art-therapy/
3a. “A sense-able approach to art therapy: Promoting engagement for a child with developmental difficulties” (2012), Danielle Walsh. https://www.anzacata.org/
4a. “Effectiveness of Art Therapy With Adult Clients in 2018-What Progress Has Been Made?” (2018) Dafna Regev and Liat Cohen-Yatziv. School of Creative Arts Therapies, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel published in Frontiers in Psychology doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01531. Link to pdf.
5a. “Creating Art Together as a Transformative Process in Parent-Child Relations: The Therapeutic Aspects of the Joint Painting Procedure” (2018). Tami Gavron and Ofra Mayseless. Faculty of Education, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel published by Frontiers in Psychology doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02154. Link through to pdf.
6a. Journal Article: A review of the current evidence on the clinical effectiveness of art therapy and analysis of the status of art therapy within the psychology profession in Australia. Written in 2018 by Dr Janine McMillan, Amanda Moo, Rajneet Arora, and Dr Beth Costa. It is a joint initiative of Worksafe Australia, TAC (Transport Accident Commission) and Monash University. This article features Indigo Art Therapy as a recognised organisation that offers art therapy programs and treatments to individuals and groups. Link to PDF
Music has the ability to affect and change emotions and moods, and has been shown to affect our endorphins, dopamine, cortisol, blood pressure and heart rate, it is a powerful therapy. It can make people feel positive (happy, bright, excited or relaxed) or negative (sad, tearful). Music Therapy, delivered by trained therapists with musical ability is used to facilitate interactive musical experiences to help clients achieve goals. These goals may be to improve quality of life, help clients cope, awaken feelings and memories, boost mood and encourage socialisation, connection and communication, and improve physical responses and wellbeing.
Music Therapy is for people of all ages, with or without mental health issues. Some ideas about who would benefit, but not limited to:
A music therapist who has completed a Master’s degree that is accredited by the Australian Music Therapy Association (AMTA). To practise, the music therapist must be registered with AMTA.
“The idea of music as a healing influence which could affect health and behavior” now known as Music Therapy is, according to The American Music Therapy Association, “at least as old as the writings of Aristotle and Plato and in some cultures, long before that.” The profession officially began in the 20th C after the world wars.1b.
2b. “Creative Arts Therapies: What Psychologists Need to Know” (2013) Bill Ahessy. Journal of Irish Psychology Vol 39 Issue 11. Link to pdf
3b. “Music Activities and Mental Health Recovery: Service Users’ Perspectives Presented in the CHIME Framework,( 2021 ). Janne Brammer Damsgaard and Anita Jensen. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Link to pdf
We know that human-animal bond helps release endorphins (chemicals produced naturally by the nervous system often called “feel-good” chemicals) that act as pain relievers, calmatives, and happiness boosters to cope with pain or stress, and changes in personality and behaviours have been noted anecdotally by clinicians, carers, parents and clients themselves. AAT helps build trust and confidence in the client and assists interventions using a Neurobiological Model to support clients at different phases of their treatment.
AAT is for people of all ages, with or without mental health issues. Some ideas about who would benefit, but not limited to:
Animal Therapists are specially-trained counselling professionals, who use their animals as part of a therapy plan, especially with the guidance of the client’s GP or other clinician.
“The first formal therapeutic work and research into animal-assisted therapy was done in 1961 by child psychologist Dr Boris Levinson(who noted the value of human pet bonding). It has been gaining popularity since the late 1990s.” 1d. 2d.
2d. “Resident and therapist views of animal-assisted therapy: Implications for occupational therapy practice”. Velde BP, Cipriani J, Fisher G (2005). Australian Occupational Therapy Journal. 52 (1): 43–50 Link to pdf
3d. “Animal-Assisted Interventions; Effects on Human Mental Health – A Theoretical Framework”, Bente Berget and Camilla Ihlebæk (2011). Psychiatric Disorders – Worldwide Advances, Dr. Toru Uehara (Ed.), ISBN: 978-953-307-833-5, InTech. Link to pdf
4d. “Animal-Assisted Psychotherapy: A Meta Analytic Review” (2020), Sarah Meghan Germain. Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg. Link to pdf
5d. “Is Animal Assisted Therapy With Dogs Effective in Improving Psychosocial Variables of Mood in Hospital Patients?” (2013), Kelsey A. Morris. Health Sciences Department of Physician Assistant Studies, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Link to pdf
Movement therapy “is the psychotherapeutic use of movement and dance to support intellectual, emotional, and motor functions of the body.”1c.
1c. Ekman, S.-L.; Palo Bengtsson, L. and Winblad, B.; Ekman, S.-L. (1998). “Social Dancing: A Way to Support Intellectual, Emotional and Motor Functions in Persons with Dementia”. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. 6. 5 (6): 545–554.
As quoted in Karkou et al.3c, “Dance Movement Therapy shares with the other arts therapies similar overall therapeutic approaches, namely humanistic, psychodynamic, developmental, artistic/creative, active/directive, and eclectic/integrative therapeutic approaches.” The authors go on to say, “Arguments can be made regarding dance (movement) participation due to physiological responses associated with exercise such as the excretion of endorphins, the enhancement of chemical neurotransmitters (Jola and Calmeiro, 2017) and the active engagement of almost every part of the brain (Bläsing, 2017).”
Movement Therapy is for people of all ages, with or without mental health issues. Some ideas about who would benefit, but not limited to:
The Dance Movement Therapy Association of Australasia (DTAA) is the recognised professional body for dance movement therapy in Australasia. To practise, the therapist must be registered with DTAA; or practitioners must have completed Advanced Clinical Training (ACT) in Dance-Movement Therapy from The International Dance Therapy Institute of Australia Inc (IDTIA)
“1916- The idea of dance as psychotherapy was first recorded by Carl Gustav Jung. His original paper was widely circulated but remained unpublished until 1957.” 2c.
Movement (dance) therapy was formally organised and recognised in 1966 when the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) was formed.
1c. Ekman, S.-L.; Palo Bengtsson, L. and Winblad, B.; Ekman, S.-L. (1998). “Social Dancing: A Way to Support Intellectual, Emotional and Motor Functions in Persons with Dementia”. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. 6. 5 (6): 545–554. Link to pdf
2c. Chodorow, Joan. Dance Therapy and Depth Psychology: The Moving Imagination. London: Routledge, 1991. Page 1.
3c. “Effectiveness of Dance Movement Therapy in the Treatment of Adults With Depression: A Systematic Review With Meta-Analyses” (2019), Karkou V, Aithal S, Zubala A and Meekums B. Frontiers in Psychology 10:936. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00936. Link to pdf
Our standard conditions include that every customer will receive a reminder text 7 days before the appointment. Any cancellation made within 7 days of the appointment will incur a cancellation fee that is 100% of the session rate.
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