By Yasamin Oloomi, Mariam Khan, Jordan Kaye, Nicole Sheung, Gregory Kohler, Yue Cao, Rachael Gingerich, and Rajan Berkuchel
Art therapy is used for many purposes, including stress management and self-esteem elevation. In this paper, we look at an art therapy workshop held in a college dormitory and the effects it had on participants. All participants claimed the session was relaxing; however, not all participants felt art was the most effective method of communication. Art therapy broadly covers the many forms of artistic measures that can be used for psychotherapeutic purposes. It can take numerous forms, but generally entails that either the art-making process is used to administer therapy or that in a therapist-client setting, the client makes art that is used by the therapist to decipher the client’s concerns and aid in the healing process. Through this process, art therapy can be used to treat a number of symptoms and issues, including managing stress, developing behavior management techniques, and enhancing self-esteem. Useful in a number of settings, including in rehabilitation facilities, in clinical psychology, and in education, the fairly recent phenomenon of art therapy is growing more and more popular as a way for patients to understand themselves. To learn more about art therapy, our group has reviewed related academic articles: one looks back to the history of art therapy and talks about how art therapy works and the other goes into more details and specifically focuses on art creation’s developmental significance for youth. Inspired by the two articles, our group conducted an art therapy session in North Quad. During the session, we created a carefree and creative space and engaged students in a simple set of activities for a specific theme. We collected and analyzed their artwork and aim to combine their work into a collaborative design at the end of the project.