I was able to meet an art therapist who works in multiple mediums, tailoring her approach to her client’s needs. As such, her tools spanned across multiple artistic mediums, such as for watercolour and collage.
- Watercolour set (pans and tubes)
- Colour pencils
- Reference images
- Different types of paper
- Images for collaging
She talked about how she worked predominantly with the elderly now, and emphasised the use of artistic processes and creation to engage their attention. To her, it was important to emphasise that art therapy was not about creating final works, per se, but allowing one to engage with the processes of making to spur further positive effects such as thinking, engagement, and openness to share about personal processes. These would act as gateways towards sociability and introversion, allowing one to develop a sensitivity to their internal worlds and harvesting that positively through art-making.
Worksite — Elderly care centres, Field trip sites
Her practice was diverse in working both with physical centres where elderly would take part in therapy in a group setting, and more individual sessions which involved field trips to spaces such as parks which would allow them to paint subject matter like flowers.
She actually had 2 bags to lug her tools around with! She mentioned things such as needing large art equipment, as large paper sizes were important for elderly to have the space to manipulate materials with.
We then engaged in a quick art therapy like session, which involved us making anything we wanted for a set period of time. Afterwards, we would talk about our works and processes and how that would tease out interesting notions about our own personal psyche.
Overall, some difficulties faced by her were as follows —
- Transporting of materials
- Seating for the art therapist — her clients were usually wheelchair-bound, but she herself didn’t have spaces to rest
- Lack of suitable spaces for clients to paint outdoors — whether wheelchair accessibility issues, or the space being too crowded, which led to her clients feeling too shy