Art Therapy in Inpatient Psychiatric Settings @ Marymount University, Arlington, VA

Art Therapy in Inpatient Psychiatric Settings
Rebecca Wilkinson, MA, ATR-BC
Marymount University

March 30, 2011 5:00pm-6:00 pm
Where: Marymount University Auditorium
2807 North Glebe Road
Arlington, Virginia 22207
Who: Open to Marymount Students

Art therapy conducted on short-term acute psychiatric care help patients stabilize. Most patients who come to these units are in crisis (either detoxifying from drugs/ETOH, actively psychotic, in a manic state, and/or expressing suicidal ideation). The Art therapy group can help reduce anxiety, create community among the patients, and provide patients with a safe environment to channel and express themselves. Strong emphasis is placed on exploring ways to develop more adaptive strategies for coping, to explore existing strengths and resources, and to prevent relapse into self-destructive behavior and dependence upon intensive intervention.

Art Therapy in these setting is designed to:

• Improve reality testing abilities
• Increase verbalization and stimulate awareness in environment and others
• Identify and develop more adaptive strategies for coping
• Contain and maintain affective states through art-making and discussion
• Provide an outlet for the expression of thoughts and feelings
• Improve impulse control through creating boundaries and limits in art work
• Facilitate access to thoughts and feelings that may otherwise be repressed
• Channel aggressive and destructive energy through creative means
• Improve self-esteem through the creation of original art work