Great Software Tools for Art Therapy
Art has been used for several years as a therapeutic medium. It aims to improve the mental and emotional well-being by using the creative art-making process. Art therapy has proven useful for patients of all ages. Therapists that use art in their practice often use the creative process to ease a patient through dealing with a traumatic experience they would otherwise have difficulty with. It can also be used to help patients cope with stress as well as improving relationships with others.
In addition to those that are professionals that hold doctorates or masters degrees, mental health professionals, social workers, and play therapists have been known to utilize art therapy in their everyday practice. When considering an artwork provided by a patient, the therapist can sometimes determine how well they are coping with their particular situation or issue.
Comics as Art Therapy
Oddly enough, the United States Department of Defense has looked into graphic novels, or comic books, as a form of art therapy. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has requested proposals for “Online Graphic Novel/Sequential Art Authoring Tools for Therapeutic Storytelling.” They have said that their objective for this request is to “develop user-friendly authoring tools to help service members express combat-related experiences through personal narratives in a graphic novel sequential art format that will enable them to process their memories and emotions through healthy, constructive activities.”
Software for Art Therapy
There are several software options on the market for photo manipulation that can be of use in art therapy. The most popular of these would be Adobe Photoshop. In the context of art therapy, a patient can be given a photo that is relevant to them for them to manipulate in a way they feel could express their feelings when words could not.
People Putty is a 3-D character-building tool that has been useful mainly for the fact that it is a user-friendly 3-D rendering software that isn’t too difficult to be utilized in art therapy sessions. It is software that would allow a patient to build an interactive character that could even be given dialogue via pre-recorded audio.
Flying Colors by Magic Mouse has thousands of images, text, and drawing tools that can be used for engaging those patients of a younger age.
As a practicing therapist or counselor, art is definitely a medium one should consider when considering a way to get through to a patient. In some cases, patients don’t feel they have an actual voice or ability to speak about what might be bothering them. However, if you stick them in front of a computer loaded with some of the above software options, they may be able to express themselves in ways they never thought possible. Art therapy notes all over the internet have extolled the virtues of art in relation to therapy. It opens an entire world of possibilities for those that might be struggling with a way to approach a difficult subject for a patient. It can allow the subconscious mind to flow through the creative process which can, in turn, put the patient’s innermost thoughts on display.