Art Therapy strives to use art, the creative process and the resulting artwork to: explore feelings, foster self-awareness, and manage behaviors, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem. Art Therapy has been shown to stimulate the brain by engaging the senses, stirring memories and sometimes by sparking spontaneous language to someone who is struggling with language and word finding.
The act of creating stimulates the brain by requiring the resident to plan, remember, create patterns, and use motor skills. It also draws on parts of the brain that are not dominated by language, which allows the resident an opportunity to engage in creative outlets and feel a sense of accomplishment as well as increased self-esteem. The residents at Filosa and Hancock Hall have been creating tissue paper collages (holiday tree murals, autumn leaves), 3-dimensional stars made out of magazines, tissue paper flowers, and small snowmen made out of mixed media.
In addition, the residents created cookies in a jar for the Holiday Bazaar. These Art Therapy experientials are designed to promote self-awareness, relieve stress, anxiety, and confusion (through developing a sense of empowerment), improve/sustain motor skills, improve cognitive skills, increase the ability to cope with transitions, facilitate communication and increase self-esteem.