H-L Therapy embraces creativity as an important part of our service. We believe that every person has at least a little bit of a creative streak within them, just waiting to be discovered and applied. Therefore, Artistic Exploration activities are interweaved in most H-Link services, including counseling, therapy, and recreational group programs.
Artistic Exploration as applied in H- L Therapy services is not about Art Therapy or developing artistic skills. It is not about whose artistic creation is better or worse because we are all individuals and express ourselves differently. The term Artistic Exploration refers to the practical use of art as a strategy for communicating, forming connections, sharing a common understanding, rapport and interest. It is about being absorbed in a meaningful activity, whilst having fun along the way.
Clients participating in Artistic Exploration by H-L Therapy activities are all doing well, regardless of previous experiences, abilities, and skill levels because the focus is not on producing masterpieces but on having fun in a supportive, non-judgemental environment. Bonding through artistic exploration in a group setting offers the opportunity for participants to meet and interact with other people who may later become good friends.
H-L Therapy also often uses Artistic Exploration to assist in communication during therapy and counseling sessions. By expressing themselves artistically, clients are often better able to communicate their thoughts, feelings, and emotions. This type of artistic communication is useful for shy people, people with a wide range of disabilities who experience communication difficulties, or other people who find it hard to express their complex emotions. In situations like this, clients may be asked to draw a picture, write down their emotions, prepare and/or read a poem, prose, or listen to an inspirational story to assist them in conveying their thoughts, feelings, or abstract ideas that may otherwise be difficult to express verbally.
This activity may involve the use of crayons, pencils, water-based and oil pastels, acrylic, and ink painting, subject to the participants’ choice and preference. Mandalas coloring activities can also be facilitated for participants who require a more structured approach.
Both classical and modern music can be played, subject to the clients’ choice.
This is a modality to enhance vocal and verbal expression and may involve vocal exercises, reading aloud, and/or singing.
The stories are kept short and each of them has a moral which can later be further explored in discussions with client/s
The participants may be encouraged to write a story or a poem to express how they are feeling along with the deeper meaning they wish to convey
The clients may be asked to act out certain past events or conversations to make a better sense of them. It may assist them to use the role-play scenario to verbalize important messages they have for others but which they find challenging to communicate. Acting out the future events may also be facilitated as a means for a future rehearsal – to assist performance. Another example, where future rehearsal may be useful is as a graded desensitization strategy to address feared situations in the treatment of anxiety disorders
This involves practicing different body postures and gestures – to assist a better understanding of a close interconnection between the body, mind, and emotions. An example of this activity involves standing up straight and then slouching down and seeing how well one feels in either of these positions.
This may include making simple home decoration items, decoupage, sensory play, Papier Mache, dough creations, and so forth.
All Artistic Exploration activities by H-L Therapy are mindfulness & relaxation activities because to participate in the clients need to be aware of what they are doing and therefore be fully present in ‘here and now. This has clear mental health benefits boosting our concentration and confidence levels, allowing us to distract from negative thoughts and feelings. Like other mindfulness activities, Artistic Exploration can be used as a self-management strategy for assisting anxiety and depression.
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