What is Art Therapy?

Lady Painting - Art TherapyArt therapy is a profession in the mental health field that integrates the field of human development and uses creative arts to help individuals or groups improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Hospitals and rehabilitation centers have been incorporating art therapy with their traditional psychotherapy programs since the 1940s. Individuals receiving art therapy in our Utah clinic can select from a variety of materials such as paint or clay to interact with to symbolically express the depth and intensity of emotional pain. A therapist might ask them to draw a picture of their family to help illicit unhealthy family dynamics such as communication issues or relationship problems. In another approach to art therapy, you may view pieces of art, and then talk with a therapist about what you see. Your Utah art therapist will use pictures, art supplies, visual symbols, and an understanding of human behavior to help address personal concerns and conflicts.

Art Therapy Program Benefits

When Utah art therapy is used, self-expression is usually less defended than speaking, therefore, issues tend to be addressed more directly. Art helps people to internalize emotions associated with trauma while also allowing them to cope with these feelings by expressing them in an artistic manner. Art therapy is based on the belief that artistic self-expression can be used to help people;
  • Explore their feelings
  • Communicate their pain
  • Resolve emotional conflicts
  • Improve self-awareness
  • Speed up healing times
  • Manage behavior
  • Manage addictions
  • Cope with emotional conflicts
  • Express unspoken and often unconscious concerns
  • Evolve social skills
  • Relieve stress, apprehension, and fear
  • Lower heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate
  • Foster self-esteem
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Develop interpersonal skills

Who Can Use Utah Art Therapy Programs?

Art therapy can be beneficial for individuals of all ages and can be found in a variety of settings such as hospitals, community mental health centers, correctional facilities, nursing homes, schools, disaster relief centers, and drug and alcohol rehab programs. Groups of people struggling with a similar issue may create a mural to stimulate group discussion about a certain issue or to talk about coping strategies. Likewise, art therapy can be used on senior citizens in nursing homes to help come to terms with aging, grief, and fear of death. Utah art therapy has been shown to benefit those with; mental health issues, eating disorders, emotional disorders, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, PTSD, and other addictions, relationship issues, family issues, those suffering from trauma or loss, coping with physical, emotional, and cognitive difficulties related to a disability or medical illness.

Utah Music Health Therapy

Playing a GuitarMusic Health Therapy is similar in function and application to art therapy. Our Utah music health therapy is a clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish therapeutic goals, promote healing, and enhance the quality of life. Scientific studies have shown that music benefits the mind, body, and spirit of people of ALL ages.

What is Music Health Therapy?

It is widely recognized that sounds can deeply affect the human psyche, such as the sound of the ocean, a summer downpour, the sound of a distant bird singing in the morning, or a chorus of crickets resonating through the stillness of dark. Music (or melodic sounds) has a similar power. Listening to music can stir happy memories, lower heartbeats, relax the nerves, lull to sleep, or melt away depression, and this is the purpose of music health therapy. To take specific musical performances that have been psychologically matched to benefit the human mind, and influence a particular physical reaction. When these patterns of music have been analyzed and configured into specific therapy sessions, a wide range of changes can occur within the body. Music health therapy has been established as a solution to address the social, emotional, mental, and physical needs in people's lives, when administered by a trained music therapist. In a therapeutic context, specific music has been analyzed, tested, and determined to bring about the desired benefits for the patient. Specific populations will benefit from music health therapy that has been shown to promote the specific sensory perceptions, brain responses, and the nervous system reactions, including: Music health therapy can be assisted with intervention counseling or used in conjunction with other rehabilitation programs with the goal of strengthening the inner person and having that strength translates to real world situations. Scientifically based music health therapy protocols will go beyond the reach of creative art therapies. It begins with sounds and music that have been analyzed and proven to have therapeutic benefits. The listening therapy sessions are based on specific therapeutic protocols, are customized with artificial intelligence algorithms, and recorded with high-quality sound to target a specific psychophysiological response.

How Does Music Health Therapy Work in Our Utah Center?

Our therapist will first assess the client to determine their specific needs, and then formulate a plan using music-based interventions within the therapeutic relationship, such as improvisation, composition, re-creative or receptive experiences to help achieve unique goals and objectives. In a music health therapy session designed to promote self-expression, the therapist might create a musical and emotional environment that encourages you to respond by revealing personal experiences or feelings. Using music can help people not only discover long-forgotten emotions but to also help them understand, control, and express those emotions in a healthy way. Clients in our Utah music health therapy program can use various methods of musical expression such as: music improvisation, receptive music listening, song writing, lyric discussion, music and imagery, music performance, and learning through music. How we feel and how we react to situations depends on the levels of certain brain chemical or levels of nervous system operations. Cortisol, which is a stress hormone, and endorphins, which produce a state of happiness or feelings of well-being, and dopamine which also chemically supports positive feelings are all regulated by the brain and can be enhanced with music. Music releases these chemicals that affect mood, along with the way that we handle stress and conflict. The negative physical responses that accompany depressed moods, anxiety, and other mental/emotional challenges present themselves physically with increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, clenched teeth, appetite loss, furrowed eyebrows, sleepiness, butterflies in the stomach, and so forth. Music can affect brain chemicals in such a way that negative responses are overcome. Instead, a sense of peace, calm, clear thinking, and hopefulness will result from the interplay between the brain and the rhythmic beats or soothing sounds that music provides. Music has a positive physical effect, can uplift moods, and calm nervous physical reactions.

Healing Benefits of Utah Music Health Therapy

From the time we are infants, our brains are wired to process and respond to music. Mothers from all time periods and cultures have used lullabies and rocking movements to calm fussy babies. Rhythm has been shown to be beneficial. When music input enters our ears, some of the input goes to the brain for processing, while other input heads right to the motor nerves in the spine. This allows muscles to respond to the rhythm without having to think about it - this is called entrainment. Our muscles, including heart muscle, automatically synchronize to the beat. We can use entrainment to our advantage, for example, we can play classical music at 70 beats a minute to slow a heart that is beating too fast. Music health therapy can be used to reveal subconscious thoughts and feelings, thereby, allowing music to be therapeutic in the same way that psychotherapy can be. As an alternative treatment that is non-invasive and is not based in pharmaceutical remedies, music health therapy provides for a wide range of sensory connections that directly influence and benefit the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of those listening:
  • can reduce distress by regulating brain processes
  • can modify reactions in a negative environment
  • can minimize the effects of stressful situations
  • can enhance relaxation and promote better sleep
  • can cortisol levels, reduce heart rates and blood pressure

Pathways Music and Art Therapy Utah

Music health therapy interventions are based on individual assessment, treatment planning, and ongoing evaluation, frequently functioning as members of an interdisciplinary team. Pathways Utah art and music therapist hold masters level educational degrees and are certified to work in their field. The art and music therapists utilize interventions with individuals or in a group setting that display a vast continuum of needs, from the reduction of anxiety, rehabilitation of speech, sensory, gross, or fine motor skills, to psycho-social, emotional, spiritual and wellness needs. For more information about our Utah Art and Music Health Therapy programs or to set up an appointment, please fill out our contact form or call Pathways Real Life at 801-895-3006 today!