Creative therapy is a form of therapy in which feelings are expressed non-verbally. There are four different areas within creative therapy: music, visual arts, drama and dance. By applying the therapy in one of those areas, or a combination of areas, the creativity that is present in everyone is called upon.
Four areas of work for creative therapy
In this way, feelings are discovered and investigated with the aim of recognizing the underlying problems and then initiating a process of acceptance, change and personal development. Creative therapy is mainly about doing things such as making music, drawing, painting, sculpting or moving.
Applied in many institutions
Therapists who use creative therapy are called professional therapists and either have their own practice or are employed by institutions. Creative therapy is applied within institutions in the field of somatic and mental health care. Or also at institutions for people with an intellectual disability, judicial institutions, welfare institutions, rehabilitation centers, special education, psychiatric hospitals, in a medical children’s home, or in youth care.
There are two types of music therapy. One is by being actively involved with music and the other is by listening to music. In both cases, sound has a strong effect on the clients. In the active way they can express their emotions in a very direct way. Moods and emotions are evoked when listening to music.
Art therapy is about expression through drawing, painting, sculpting and other creative expressions. Photography and video also offer possibilities. The goal is to learn to express and organize feelings.
Drama therapy focuses on portraying feelings, for example through role-playing, improvisational play, but also recitation of poems or face painting and costumes. By placing yourself in the shoes of another person, suppressed emotions can be expressed in a safe way.
Emotions that may be more difficult to express are given a chance through dance and movement. In contrast to various other forms, in which various materials are a means of expression, in dance this is one’s own body. It is precisely this active involvement with one’s own body that can break through blockages.
Training as a creative therapist
In the training to become a professional therapist, the first part is mainly theoretical, with a lot of attention paid to psychoanalysis, group dynamics, orthopedagogy, art philosophy and art psychology and art history. The common thread throughout the training is psychoanalysis.
The second part focuses on the creative therapeutic aspect, where the student works in an action-oriented and experience-oriented manner.
In the third part the student evolves from player to supervisor. This will provide more depth in the group therapeutic aspects.
In the last part of the course, the student is mainly concerned with developing the bachelor’s thesis, discussing case studies, the internship and participating in supervision. After completing the course, the student receives the title Bachelor of Social Work (BSW).
Most graduates enter healthcare institutions. But nowadays more and more creative therapy is also being applied outside healthcare, such as in career guidance or in change processes in organizations. After a good dose of work experience, owning your own practice can also be feasible.
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