Art therapy methods in museums

“Art therapy in the museum (an art environment) is a current topic and an opportunity to promote public health and the social inclusion of different groups of people.

 

In 2018 I carried out the first art therapy program inside a museum (Art Museum RIGA BOURSE) for people with dementia. The program was implemented as the practical part of a scientific research project. According to the results of this project, within 10 sessions the participants of the group saw an increase in emotional self-regulation abilities, a strengthened sense of identity, an increased memory function, a reduced feeling of social isolation, an increase in self-esteem and energy levels. During the program, close ties were established with members of the British Association of Art Therapists, who have successful experience in using the art environment for therapy and promoting public health.

 

Inside an art space (a museum, exhibition, gallery etc.), art therapists can give the participants a new and creative experience, interacting with them in a new way. Participants meanwhile can find encouragement, inspiration, and different ways of using art (artworks, the process of creating art) to create and tell their stories, experience, and expressing emotions inside an environment that’s not related to the emotional experiences caused by the environment within medical institutions. The art environment gives one safety, peace, and support. It’s considered therapeutic in and of itself. It’s an environment where everyone is accepted no matter their cognitive or physical limitations. Using their knowledge and skills, art therapists facilitate group processes that fit the goals suited to the participants’ needs, such as reducing anxiety and depression, improving an understanding of emotions, developing empathy, reducing burn-out, developing social skills, communicative abilities, and the effective use thereof, reducing social isolation across different social groups, reducing symptoms of PTSD, as well as increasing self-esteem for persons who have suffered violence (physical and emotional).

 

The techniques and methods used in museums (the art environment) are employed based on scientific research and its results that have proved their efficiency in working with all age groups, including children and teenagers as well as adults and seniors”

Diāna Serga

Art therapist (RSU, Mg.sc.sal.), Neurography instructor.

For many years, I have been actively and enthusiastically working with people to develop, recover, realize and discover their creative abilities.

This event is a part of the project educational course. Learn more about the course here.