At The Greens at Greenwich the arts are used therapeutically to reawaken confidence, pleasure and participation. The arts help, overall, in developing a cohesive community of support. The creative arts therapies are recognized throughout the world as healing and important complementary interventions in health and well-being. Though a natural and joyful human experience, the creative arts as therapies are not diversional activities. They are goal oriented, purposeful and person centered.
Creative Arts Psychotherapists have master’s degrees and go through intensive training to be licensed and board certified. Their goal is to understand, respect and bestow loving care to people who wish to explore their creative selves and understand the extraordinary communicative tools within the arts. The arts are widely used in many settings. The creative arts therapies are unique.
Living Creatively In New Ways
The Greens at Greenwich is the first Assisted Living community in Connecticut to have a staff of creative arts therapists who utilize their specializations to assist those with memory impairment to express their thoughts and feelings. Using music, art, drama and dance/movement our residents have the opportunity to paint, dance, drum and show how they feel with or without words. Being understood is validating and empowering. Learning to live creatively in the here-and-now can make the difference between not wanting to get up in the morning and looking forward to the day.
Embellishing reminiscence in drama therapy engages the attention of the whole group. Loneliness is forgotten as residents learn about each other and start interacting. Everyone’s story matters and in the telling of it, validation and affirmation of a life well lived is shared.
Music, Dance, Drama and Art as Therapeutic Tools
Music therapy isn’t new. It was established in 1950 after WWII veterans were treated with music as a therapeutic tool. Music therapy utilizes techniques to evoke feelings. The body uses dance as expression. There is no right or wrong. Dance stimulates emotion, unlike exercises, which are usually structured. A dance/movement therapist is well versed in anatomy, physiology and kinesthetics as well as body language overall.
Art therapists design groups for the purpose of self-expression, memory and tactile stimulation. Art reveals personal histories, through color, position, texture. All these modalities encourage a sense of play, which evokes joy, causing actual changes in the brain’s chemistry. The miracle of Creative Arts Therapy is that facial expressions change, smiles appear, tension in the body relaxes and there are expectations of pleasure. The creative arts therapies awaken the mind, invigorate the body and refresh the spirit.
Visit The Greens at Greenwich for more information about the use of creative arts therapy in our dementia care programs.