Question from Community Care: Art therapy and its uses

Art therapy and its uses

By Malcolm Learmonth

* What distinguishes psychotherapeutic ‘treatment’ from ‘therapeutic activity’ through the arts? (GUIDE TIME FOR DISCUSSION: 20 minutes)

* Two hypothetical situations, based on real issues. An artist with no mental health training is engaged to work in A community setting with an individual with a known history of abuse and anger management issues. The artist encourages the individual to ‘express himself’ on the theme of some of his early relationships. This results in an episode in which the person hurts himself, and or others. Has a duty of care been delivered? What could or should have been done differently, and by whom? (30 minutes)

* An artist is placed as artist in residence on an oncology ward. The artist has suffered bereavement from cancer but did not think this was issue, and no questions that might have shown this up are asked at interview. However, he has a breakdown. What sort of help might they need? What happens to the project? What could or should have been done differently, at what stage, and by whom? (20 minutes).

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