Recently on Cyworld, a new trend has emerged. People are posting and sharing drawings and paintings with titles like, "Drawing to restrain your appetite," "Drawing to help you concentrate, and so on. People say looking at these drawings for just five to ten minutes a day can help change your life in the desired direction. But, this is not just the latest example of wishful thinking. Many of the drawings have been taken from psychological textbooks and, if not so simply as in five minutes a day, really many have some role in changing the way you think. The pictures and the books they come from, belong to the field of art therapy, a field gathering more attention recently.
Art therapy is defined as treating mental or physical problems using artwork instead of chemical medicines. Art therapy also helps people relieve stress, and prevents people from receiving stress by helping them control their emotions and express their emotions adequately. There are two main kinds of art therapy. One involves active drawing or painting, and the other looking at and responding to a drawing or painting. Through these processes, patients can discover their inner selves and produce healing power by further understanding the problems or conflicts they have.
The term "Art therapy" was created by Elinor Ulman, when first used in his paper published in the first edition of ?he Bulletin of Art Therapy in 1961. Since then, the field has grown rapidly, and is now used in both diagnosis and treatment.
Active drawing or painting is the form of art therapy most often used in diagnostic tests. One example is, the Draw A Person (D-A-P) test. In this test, the subject is asked to draw anything he or she wishes on an empty white paper without any time limit. According to the site of the Maeum Sarang, (http://www.maeumsarang.net), this test can be effective in finding out a variety of things. As well as pointing to emotional problems the subject may not have recognized, the test can help him or her identify his or her personal style of emotional adaptation and thinking, and the degree to which he or she is right-brain or left-brain oriented. Active drawing can also be used as therapy to relieve stress by drawing freely and not self-consciously.
Looking at and responding to a drawing or painting, without actively drawing yourself, can also be effective as therapy. With this method, people have to relax and watch paintings or drawings. Some of these paintings have a similar goal as the D-A-P test, in that the only instruction given to the subject is to take a comfortable posture, relax, and look. But, others have quite detailed instructions and one needs to follow to receive the full effect. From these processes, students can easily relieve stress and maintain a peaceful and healthy state of mind and body. Enjoying the artwork as much as possible maximizes the effects.
There are many resources available for Ewha students who wish to receive art therapy. Some groups which offer treatment are the Seoul Art Therapy Institute located in Gangnam-gu (http://www.sarttherapy.or.kr), the Multitherapy Center located in Bundang-gu (http://www.multitherapy.com), and the Donggrami Art Studio located in Ilsan-gu (http://www.ildonggra-mi.co.kr). Also, there are many neuropsychiatry hospitals such as Maeum Sarang located in Gangdong-gu (http://www.maeumsarang.net), and many universities subsidiary institutes offer art therapy programs.
*Photo provided by Multitherapy Center.
1. Relax your eyes.
2. Find a comfortable posture
3. Focus on the whole picture.
4. Focus on one part.
5. Look lightly at the picture.
6. Repeat this everyday.
|▲ A painting to help one get a good night sleep.|
|▲ A painting to help indigestion due to stress.|