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Art Therapy’s Purpose In This Pandemic Situation

A common reaction to art therapy for a lot of people is that it is a challenging activity. Some are afraid to try it because they believe they do not acquire the skills and talent needed to complete it. Some individuals think that they are not creative and artistic enough to come up with an idea. Somehow, this is a normal reaction since most people stop making art since their elementary days. But art therapy is not like that.

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Though art is somewhat related to creative skills, you do not need to have a lot of confidence to try it. Honestly, there is no perfection in art. As long as you express your thoughts and feelings in a creative way, that is already an accomplishment. Art therapy is about the process of making and creating something rather than the project itself. There is no right or wrong way to make it.

How Is Art Therapy Beneficial

In this disheartening state of the world, due to the Coronavirus issue, people need to find an outlet. Art therapy is one of the best and practical things to do since people are following home quarantine restrictions. Art therapy is a healing modality. It intends to bring physical, emotional, and mental care. It facilitates a creative way to allow individuals to respond to their environment. But note that art therapy is not an instructional hobby or activity art class that teaches people. Instead, it is a free-will process of making something out of nothingness.

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Art therapy encourages people to experiment and play with art materials. These include colored pencils, markers, and pens, a variety of fabrics and papers, clay, watercolor paint, collages, and many more. As for the finished product, there is no interpretation of the artwork involved. Therefore, there is nothing to worry about what could be the result of your creation. The whole thing you make depends on how you see your finished product. Therefore, it is you who find its meaning about what you have created. And since it is therapeutic, it helps explore a variety of mental health issues that you may be dealing with along this current pandemic situation and express it the way you understand.

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How Art Engages With The Mental State

Art therapy engages with the individual’s mental state by transcending words and triggers in the different pathways of the brain and its subconscious. That is the reason why when you make art, you find a different understanding of your experience. It makes you think more about yourself in terms of what you can do, understand, and realize. It increases self-awareness and self-discovery. It helps examine thoughts and emotions that are somehow too difficult to put into words.

People decide to engage with art therapy for a lot of reasons. Some people use it to provide an outlet to cool-off their boredom. Individuals try it to learn and explore their skills or master them, and some use it to reduce anxiety as well as its underlying cause.

Art therapy decreases stress and lifts your mood. It is an excellent way for relaxation and mental transformation. And since art therapy is proven to reduce the symptoms of emotional and mental health problems, it supports positive coping skills.

Source: pxfuel.com

Takeaway

This pandemic situation is clearly out of hand. It destroys your mental and emotional stability like you never imagined it would. However, art is one of the best ways that can help you regain your sense of control. So if you still do not find art interesting, you might want to reconsider. Use this time to get to know art therapy.

How Can Pensioners Live Productively?

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I loved my newly retired parents so much that I got us tickets for the 2017 Pensioners Conference. They had never attended such an event; they did not even know that there was even a mass gathering for pension recipients like them.

Despite the initial hesitance to go, though, Mom and Dad enjoyed their time at the conference. The organizers invited a few people in various industries to talk about what retirees could do with their free time.

Some of the activities that will allow you to live productively are:

Grow Your Food
One of the first things that you can try is to grow your own food. Whether you are a carnivore, herbivore, or omnivore, it is not too challenging to raise chickens or pigs, plant vegetables, or do both. Doing so ensures you about the food items’ ‘diets’ and prevents you from turning into a couch potato.

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Travel The World
In case your work always got in the way of your dreams of traveling the world, now is the best time to fulfill it. Take out a map or globe, close your eyes, and point to any country that you should visit if you feel adventurous. Should you have destinations in mind already, start planning to make it happen.

Help Less Fortunate People
Considering you have more than enough cash lying around, why don’t you help less fortunate folks? You can start by giving free food to homeless people in your town. Then, you may pick an orphanage and donate money for the orphans. If a natural calamity has taken place, you are welcome to send relief goods to the disaster-stricken families.

Final Thoughts
When all you have done in the last 30 or 35 years is going to your work, it is understandable to feel lost now that you no longer need to do that. Relaxing at home is fantastic, but it can get old pretty fast. In reality, doing nothing all of a sudden may even weaken you.
To stay productive after retirement, therefore, you can do any or all of the tasks mentioned above.

Tips For Taking Picture-Perfect Couple Shots 

It’s always a good feeling to browse through pictures of people in love. They seem to have gathered all the happiness in the world just right in each other’s arms. How can such love be so apparent in still and static photos? 

 Photography in and of itself is not merely capturing a factual event in time. There are meanings, motives, and emotions behind the image captured and the one taking the pictures. — Sam Louie MA, LMHC

Source: pexels.com

 

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Interesting Scrapbooking Ideas To Commemorate Your Relationship 

What is the best gift for your anniversary? Flowers, chocolate, books? Well, why not a scrapbook! You can do many things in a scrapbook. Not only can you document the great moments of your relationships, but you can also make this scrapbook with your partner.  If you would like to make one, here are some creative scrapbook ideas for you to try!  

 

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Why You Should Document Relationships Through Photographs 

With the advancement of technology, it has become more accessible and possible for almost anyone to capture photographs. Even cheaper mobile phones have one built-in, ready for instant snapshots of different moments in life. 

 Taking pictures of experiences has become increasingly common, and not just for vacations or once-in-a-lifetime events. Most of us carry cell phones equipped with decent cameras, making it even easier to snap a few photos during nearly any experience—whether it’s a view of the Eiffel Tower or a view of your lunch.  — Katherine Nelson-Coffey, Ph.D.

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Therapeutic Scrapbooking: A Mind-Engaging Tool For Pediatric Counseling

 

 

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Pediatric counseling is vital for children who are going through developmental crises, and one of the techniques incorporated in therapy is scrapbooking.

 

Narrative Therapy

 

Considered as a type of psychotherapy, narrative therapy is created to help people in identifying skills, knowledge, and values to efficiently brave through the numerous difficulties faced. Usually, pediatric therapists aim at helping children and parents re-write or re-shape a new, fully-functional narrative regarding themselves through a thorough investigation of past qualities.

 

The utilization of narrative therapy for pediatric counseling programs is usually with children between 9 to 12 years old. Scrapbooking is combined with the fundamental principles of narrative therapy to support children with an entertaining program, which allows them to find a new outlook and coping mechanism for the majority of life’s ups and downs.

 

Essentially, scrapbooking as applied narrative therapy enables children to externalize issues, and eventually achieve optimism for their future. Furthermore, scrapbooking has been particularly favorable for children with limiting medical problems, physical disabilities, and emotional and behavioral adversities emanating from long-term hardship or trauma.

 

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Scrapbooking As An Intervention For Pediatric Cancer Patients

 

Scrapbooking has been transformed into a therapeutic intervention that is being used with caregivers and parents of children who have cancer. The primary purpose of the group is promoting encouragement and mobilizing internal strengths which thereby enhance the providers’ coping abilities, benefiting the pediatric patients.

 

Medical facilitators like social workers enable a secured environment for parties to verbalize stories and also share distresses. Scrapbooking becomes an ordinary endeavor in the sense that it’s an activity that does not accumulate negative stigma that support groups may bring, thereby limiting reluctance in attending sessions.

Previous psychological research has demonstrated that the mere presence of a loved one — a partner, family member or friend — can help reduce one’s subjective experience of physical pain (for instance, during a medical procedure), versus experiencing similar pain while alone. —

Therapeutic Benefits

 

Not only perceived as a pastime, but scrapbooking is now also regarded as a helpful therapeutic technique for children who are undergoing mental and physical difficulties. Aside from the abovementioned benefits, what are the different advantages of choosing scrapbooking as one of your child’s treatment methods?

 

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Since the students were not previously informed of the content of the pictures they would be seeing, their nostalgic reactions were associated with involuntary, rather than voluntary, autobiographical memories. — Hal McDonald Ph.D.

  1. Scrapbooking Relaxes The Mind

 

Children who are experiencing mental disorders can significantly benefit from scrapbooking for its mind-relaxing effects. Kids who are hustling with their school, homework, extracurricular activities and social lives may find it hard to slow down. However, just like adults, if they don’t take a step back to sit down and do some relaxing activities, they may be just like adults who will be burnt out eventually. At par with drawing or painting, scrapbooking is a sedating form of craft that children can find joyful and cathartic.

 

 

  1. Scrapbooking Increases Self-esteem

 

Children have the most vulnerable, underdeveloped self-esteem that when anxious, one can quickly get stressed and experience low regard for oneself. Scrapbooking is a useful tool to regain their positive sense of self through the creation of art that promotes self-expression. Realizing that beautiful things can be accomplished and can emerge into positive results, children will increase their level of self-esteem.

Why bring in photos? It’s a revealing record of old family dynamics. It helps therapists know the characters of your life. — Ryan Howes PhD, ABPP

  1. Scrapbooking Consoles In Moments Of Grief

 

Children find it difficult to process loss. Kids who have experienced or are currently going through grief can find comfort in scrapbooking, especially during their bereavement. Scrapbooking conveniently incorporates different forms of therapeutic interventions related to art in a simplified, concrete setup and is applied to children who are in the process of overcoming trauma and grief that is related to the death of a parent.

 

Every art has an important role to play in our society, especially when it comes to children who are undergoing pediatric counseling, and scrapbooking is just one of the many forms of creative processes that parents and therapists may significantly consider.

 

How Psychiatry Uses Music for Mental Health

 

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Music is interpreted in a lot of ways and is used in magnanimous occasions for different reasons; no wonder psychiatry is also utilizing music as a therapeutic modality for mental illness.

…the experience that happens when you listen to a piece of music is like a snowflake—each one is it’s own unique phenomenon. Even if you listen to the same piece by the same performer, you and the performer come into the experience having “lived life” and maybe even learned something. — Kimberly Sena Moore Ph.D.

But what does it mean when somebody utters “music therapy?” If you belong to the majority who find music as a vital element of life, then you would undoubtedly know that music can affect mood and emotions. Psychiatry has found a way to incorporate the art of music into psychological healing, especially for those who are anxious, depressed, or traumatized.

 

Music Therapy Sessions

 

During music therapy sessions, there are a couple of elements incorporated, such as listening to relaxing music, songwriting, and creating music. The goal of the music therapist depends on the condition of the patient. Some of these goals are:

 

  • Encourage expression of feelings to relieve anxiety or stress
  • Improve the person’s mood
  • Enhance patient’s coping mechanism to better his quality of life

 

And the best part is, patients need not be musical geniuses nor do they need to have some background in music to benefit from the therapy.

 

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Music Therapy Advantages

 

Music therapy includes passive methods that technically involve listening, active approaches that include singing or operating an instrument, or a combination of techniques that are connected with music.

When I listen to heavy metal, I feel the essential part of myself that responds to a strong beat. Even on the coldest northeastern days, certain bands conjure the feeling of the warm desert where I grew up. — Alena Gerst, LCSW, RYT

Music therapy has developed so much over the years that it is currently one of the most favored treatment techniques used not only for mental health issues but also for patients who have cancer and disabled individuals. To elaborate further, below is a list of music therapy benefits.

 

  • Reduces anxiety and depression
  • Helps manage stress
  • Improves communication and relationship with others
  • Enhances memory through brain stimulation
  • Strengthens social skills
  • Keeps emotions at bay
  • Enhances coordination and movement
  • Helps deal with pain, either emotional or physical
  • Reduces fear
  • Improves immunity

 

Music Therapy For Teens

 

Teenagers are considered as one of the most stressed individuals of this generation. With all the things that they should balance – family, school, friends, social media, and a part-time job – teens, are becoming more and more worried and overwhelmed. Because of all of the responsibilities that teenagers have to fulfill, they are becoming more vulnerable to stress, and what’s worse is not knowing how to cope. Often, unhealthy coping strategies lead to anxiety and depression.

 

Music therapy is a non-invasive experience that helps teenagers in a way that therapists can easily integrate music into their daily lives mainly because the majority of teenagers listen to music. Therapists consider music therapy for teens to provoke a more relaxing and mindful experience while encouraging emotional absolution and reducing melancholia. Children these days are fond of self-expression which is why music therapy is a prime choice for therapists.

 

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Use headphones or earbuds if that helps you focus or shut out external noise. Give yourself permission to only listen to the music, without simultaneously checking your email or refreshing your Facebook feed. — Maya Benattar, MA, MT-BC, LCAT

Music Therapy Is For Everyone

 

Probably one of the primary reasons why music therapy has become increasingly popular, especially for children and adolescents is because of its approach, stimulating the part of the brain that invokes creativity.

 

Music therapy strongly enhances cognitive functioning for self-awareness, alleviation of negative thoughts and feelings, encouraging healthy communication, and supports self-expression. However, the effectiveness of this kind of therapy dramatically depends on the response of the patient. Still, one cannot deny that music therapy is one of the most relevant and engaging forms of psychiatric treatments that everyone can avail.

 

Telltale Signs That You Are A Natural Artist

Santa was an original Bohemian, you might say. He was well known in his community as a toy designer and artist who crafted a variety of toys including wooden horses, paper kites, ceramic dolls, stuffed animals and one of-a-kind puppets. — Barbara ‘Basia’ Mosinski, LCAT, ATR-BC, MA, MFA

Of all the ideas I can remember from a psychology class I once took in college out of a whim, I can vividly call to mind the debate about nurture vs. nature. With the former, somebody’s skill isn’t innate in him or her – a lot of practice and education allowed the person to be good at what he or she does. As for the latter, people say you’re born with a particular talent, and you can roll smoothly even without proper training.

I believe the principle applies to everyone’s artistic abilities too. It’s effortless to expect individuals who have an actual Fine Arts degree to get super creative. But then again, there are also adults who surprise others and themselves after painting, writing, or drawing for the first time and realizing they may have a future with it.

Considering you have doubts about whether you are a natural artist or not, check out a few telltale signs below.

 

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You Love Spontaneity

Gaining the liberty to do what you want and learning from it is the essential part of life, right off the bat. You are a free spirit; that’s why it may be difficult for you to handle a regular job at the office, doing the same tasks for days on end.

 

You Despise Competition

Although you are aware of your capabilities, you let others go above the ranks than contend with colleagues to obtain the top spot. It isn’t that you think they’re better than you; it’s just that you know how special you are with or without that kind of affirmation.

 

Publicizing Your Work May Make You Uneasy

Do you have artistic pieces at home that even the people closest to you can’t see? Such a lack of confidence is usual for creative minds, especially if your family and friends always thought of you as a mathematical or scientific individual.

 

You Sometimes Judge Yourself Too Hard

Whereas others only think of themselves as the best at whatever they try, you feel the need to critique every move you make. In a few instances, you may go overboard with the judgments, despite everybody else saying that your output is excellent. But that’s because you’re confident that you can do better most of the time.

Your creativity looks different than another person’s and it will manifest itself differently for you depending on your age, environment, and stages of development we go through (that is to say that your creativity will be differently expressed when you are 5 years old versus when you are 40). —

The Craft Serves As Your Comfort Zone

Regardless of what job you manage to hold on to, your stress goes away as soon as you play some music, hold a paintbrush, or feel the weight of a pen between your fingers. That is much better than any drug or alcohol, for sure.

 

You Feel Sensitive Towards Others

Not having a hard time to create an emotional connection with colleagues or strangers is another sign that you are a natural artist. You may have a conversation together for less than an hour, yet you immediately understand all of their emotions, including the ones they don’t say outright. Often, you can also draw inspiration from them and use their experiences as the subject of your artwork.

 

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Freedom Of Expression Is A Big Deal To You

Expressing your thoughts and feelings matters to you more than any material thing in the world. It gives you the energy to live life without inhibitions and avoid existing for money or other people.

There are many ways to make money from your art that you may not have considered, and a combination of income sources is ideal. It’s hard for many creative types to shift into a business mindset but it’s worth the effort to be able to fulfill a dream. — Susan K Perry Ph.D.