Creative Arts Therapy

Nurse Anesthesiologist

Creative Arts Therapy has been one of the more popular holistic health practices for some time now, with therapists specializing in art therapy, dance therapy, drama therapy, and music therapy. These practices are most often used with children and adults who have learning, emotional, developmental, or physical disabilities, though children and those who are living in nursing homes, prisons, or staying in hospitals can also benefit from these therapies.

Creative Arts therapy involves having a client express emotion through sculpture, painting, or drawing. A client may be asked how they feel and then to express that feeling through art. Or they may ask a question about something and ask the client not to answer verbally, but through whatever art form they choose, giving the therapist insight into their mental and emotional state. Dance therapy is used to help clients express themselves through movement, and may help them gain more self-esteem and confidence. Drama therapy uses methods of acting to help clients express themselves. They may mime feelings, do role-play, puppetry, or improvisational games to release emotions or place them in a different perspective. A method of drama therapy called psychodrama invites clients to act out their feelings, thoughts, and emotions in order to gain a greater grasp on their mental and emotional state. Music therapy uses music to express feelings and emotions and also to increase self-confidence and an outlet for creative expression. This may be achieved through vocal, rhythmic, instrumental, or listening activities.

Creative Arts Therapy is most often employed in medical and psychiatric hospitals, residential and day-treatment centers, community mental health centers, rehabilitation facilities, substance abuse programs, some schools, and correctional facilities. Their duties include assessing their clients’ needs, developing programs and activities in which their clients will participate, teaching their clients any basic skills necessary to participate, maintaining records on their sessions and progress, and evaluating the progress through observation and review. They usually work with each client individually to achieve better success.

The degree of education required for these professions varies with the type of therapy studied, but with most a four-year degree is the absolute minimum degree of study, with further education recommended if not required. Creative Arts Therapy professionals can expect to earn from $25,000 to $40,000 per year on the average. The outlook for these professions is good, with faster than average growth, but this must be considered along with the fact that they were not ranked in the top 30 fastest growing professions. Music and art therapy are the most established of the four types of creative arts therapy, so it may be easier to find a job in one of these areas, but there is a better chance of employment if a degree in counseling or similar is obtained.

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