Isotherapy as a type of art therapeutic work with elderly people
The influence of isotherapy on the emotional well-being, mental health of the elderly. The imaging technique, "active imagination". Mechanisms of psychological art influence. The multifunctional isotherapy capabilities. Wellness aspects of works of art.
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Isotherapy as a type of art therapeutic work with elderly people
T.V. Skoryk, Doctor of Psychological Sciences,
T.O. Korogod, Senior Lecturer, А. А. Isayenko,
The multifunctional lisotherapy capabilities are described; the influence of isotherapy on the emotional well-being and mental health of the elderly is defined in the article. Mechanisms of psychological art influence are highlighted; the imaging technique, "active imagination'' is analyzed; the art process itself, creativity process, sincerity and completeness of expression are considered to be more important than the final product and its evaluation.
Keywords: art-therapy, isotherapy, art-therapeutic method, visualization.
Т. В. Скорик, к. п. н., доцент, Т. О. Корогод, старший викладач, А. А. Ісаєнко, магістрант
ІЗОТЕРАПІЯ ЯК ВИД АРТ-ТЕРАПЕВТИЧНОЇ РОБОТИ З ЛЮДЬМИ ПОХИЛОГО ВІКУ
У статті розкриваються поліфункціональні можливості ізотерапії;охарактеризовано вплив ізотерапії на емоційне самопочуття і психічне здоров'я людей літнього вік; виділено механізми психологічної дії мистецтва; розглянуто техніку візуалізації, «активної уяви»;зазначено, що для арт-терапії важливішим є власне процес творчості, щирість і повнота самовираження, а не кінцевий продукт і його оцінка.
Ключові слова: арт-терапія, ізотерапія, арт-терапевтичний метод, візуалізація.
Т. В. Скорик, к. п. н., доцент, Т. О. Корогод, старший преподаватель, А. А. Исаенко, магистрант
ИЗОТЕРАПИЯ КАК ВИД АРТ-ТЕРАПЕВТИЧЕСКОЙ РАБОТА С ПОЖИЛЫМИ ЛЮДЬМИ
В статье раскрываются полифункциональные возможности изотерапии. Охарактеризовано влияние изотерапии на эмоциональное самочувствие и психическое здоровье людей пожилого возраста. Выделены механизмы психологического воздействия искусства. Рассмотрена техника визуализации, «активного воображения». Указано, что для арт- терапии важнее собственно процесс творчества, искренность и полнота самовыражения, а не конечный продукт и его оценка.
Ключевые слова: арт-терапия, изотерапия, арт-терапевтический метод, визуализация.
Problem setting. In the conditions of deepening democracy and active transformation of the society, human values have become relevant and important ones. The sociocultural alteration, transitive nature of the Ukrainian economy, demographic changes have led to complications of the socializing and adaptive processes of the most disadvantaged, minimally prepared to change categories of the population, especially the elderly people. Therefore, one way of adapting the elderly is using the art therapy educational tools. The ability of art to influence effectively on individual's personal growth with the aim to correct certain aspects of its identity is the basis of art therapy, the direction in correction pedagogy. Among its means of formative influence the exclusive functional role is given to art. Generally considering the art to be the part of the spiritual culture of society, its impact on the emotional and spiritual world of the individual becomes obvious . In its turn, it promotes integration into the modern socio-cultural space enriching the elderly both aesthetically and intellectually.
Analysis of the recent researches and publications. Pedagogical aspects of works of art have repeatedly been the subject of close attention by a great number of theorists and practitioners (V. Aleksyeyeva, E. Byelkina, N. Vetluhina, V. Vilchynsky, S. Konovets, V. Kuzina, H. Labunsky, L. Masol, O.Rudnytska, O. Savchenko, N. Sakulina, H. Tarasenko, O. Scherbakova, A. Scherbo etc.).
The possibilities of art , including visual one, and their influence on the person have been examined by B. Ananyev, R. Arnheym, L. Vyhotskyy, S. Maksymenko, S. Rappoport and others. Sociological aspects of art therapy nature are studied by Russian researchers: E. Burno, H. Burkovskyy, O. Kopytin, L. Lebedeva, R. Haykin and others. Among the home researchers we should mention some works prepared by O. Boryak, O. Voznesenska, O. Derkach, L. Kalinina, O. Pihtar, I. Ushakova, O. Fediy and others.
The purpose of the article is to consider the characteristics of isotherapy work with elderly people. isotherapy emotional elderly art
The statement of the basic material. It should be noted that among the various arts it is fine art that influences upon the individual in the most effective way and due to its versatility it deepens knowledge, intensifies the visual and sensory experience, creates a common culture and an aesthetic personality.
Recently, the interest in using art with psycho, psychotherapeutic purposes, mechanisms of its effects on humans has significantly increased. Therapy by means of art is an universal psychotherapeutic, multidisciplinary (at the intersection of medicine, psychology, education, culture, social work) method that is used with the complex rehabilitation purposes and is aimed at eliminating or reducing neuropsychiatric disorders, rehabilitation and development of disturbed functions, compensatory skills, forming capabilities to gaming, educational activity in the process of dealing with the specific, targeted type of work. The main objective of treatment is restoring the individual and social values of elderly people, not only recovering their lost functions of the body and engaging in the activity. The innovative pedagogical technology - art therapy-is meant here.
To understand the meaning and essence of the concept "art therapy" we should start from clarifying its basic concepts. Today, unfortunately, there is no single accepted definition of "art therapy". . To prove it we'll try to analyze them in our paper.
Art therapy is a special form of psychotherapy, correcting and a personal development based on creative self-expression through various art forms (painting and drawing, sculpture, music, dance, theater) .
First, art therapy uses primarily non-verbal communication, which is especially valuable while working with elderly people, who often have difficulties in articulating their feelings and thoughts. Second, the most important mechanism of the therapeutic effects while using art approach is responding to stressful situations. It occurs in the symbolic but still expressive form (creating drawings, tales, staged scenes using dolls and etc)  .
In psychotherapy literature the terms "expressive therapy" or "art therapy" are used, but they are not identical ones to the English-language analogues and in some way they have narrow context.
T. Glukhov emphasizes that art therapeutic method is based on the use of art as a symbolic activity and is built on stimulating the creative process .
Art therapy that involves figurative activity(isotherapy) is quite common. Here much attention is paid to color therapy, analysis of colours' influencing that surround the man and his/her preferences in the process of choosing them. A great number of researches concerning colours influencing on personality have been made in Psychology (M. Luscher, G. Braslaw, V. Dragunskij, N. Serov). Color and colors chord that surround a person play a very important role in the life of a person. The colour image creates energy-carriers acting in a man and influencing him. The combination of color flows will be projected on the color observing and its reproduction , reflecting the underlying characteristics of a man and his psycho-emotional state at the moment .
There are basic psychological mechanisms of art action. The first mechanism is determined by the fact that the art in symbolic form allows to reconstruct traumatic conflict situation and to find a solution through a redesign of the situation based on the creative abilities of the subject. The second mechanism is related to the nature of aesthetic reaction that can change the effect action" from suffering to pleasure" . Thus there is the release of negative emotions, their replacing by positive ones, which is a catharsis mechanism of art.
According to Carl Jung, art therapy that uses art, greatly facilitates the process of individualization in self-identity process based on the establishment of a mature balance between unconscious and conscious. The most important art technique of therapeutic action is the technique of visualization, "active imagination" that seeks to reconcile the unconscious and conscious using affective interaction.
Iso therapy has "adopted" the therapeutic opportunities of the art activity. The modern scientific art therapy is significantly close to the original, "primitive" prehistoric art, as by itself does not require special artistic abilities and is based on spontaneous self-expression, to some extent ignoring the aesthetic criteria in the art therapeutic evaluation process. The process of creativity, sincerity and fullness of expression is more important for art therapy than the final product and its evaluation by audience . Therefore, such activities are widely available and can be used to work with people who have never held a brush or can't paint , according to their own opinion.
Isotherapy is an indispensable tool for researching and harmonizing those aspects of a man's inner world, to express which the words are unsuitable. Additionally, iso-therapy appeals to the symbolic function of fine arts, because it is one of the factors of psychotherapeutic process, helping people to understand and integrate unconscious material and gives a chance to therapist to judge the dynamics of this process and the changes taking place in the human psyche dealing with art -therapy .
Isotherapy is a rehabilitation technology based on application of art used by psychologists, pathologists, animators, educators, and other professionals to rehabilitate the elderly. A person who has limitations in health through photography can express his/her inner state, his/ her feelings and experiences. Being directly connected with the most important mental functions - visual perception, motor coordination, language, thinking - drawing doesn't only promote each function, but it also links them together, helping people organize assimilate knowledge, record their ideas about the world .
Drawing can serve as a means to address psychological, personal problems (fear, anxiety, uncertainty, loneliness, overcome negative emotions, forming finger defolution and confidence, precision movements, etc.). For example, by tone and color, rhythm and composition of the picture, the choice of characters, the plot we can judge about the existence of certain problems in the psyche and the attitude of a man. Isotherapy classes are aimed at the harmonious mental functions development of every person. Classes can be different in a variety of themes, forms, methods of influence, using materials. To learn working with the material and developing skills you can use complex techniques: drawing classes integrated with speech, music, lighting etc. .
Art-therapist interaction with elderly people requires consideration of a range of psychological, social and physiological factors. The specific objectives of art therapy is overcoming social isolation, increasing self-esteem of an elderly, creating conditions for updating his/her life experiences, values recognition, realizing his/her own creativity. Undoubtedly, the importance is given to a social context where this type of work is realized, in particular, to overcoming loneliness and isolation of the elderly, their helplessness, the relative limitedness of financial resources of society providing help to them. In our country it is also added by the extremely weak development of geriatric institutions and services as well as the existing socio-psychological stereotypes of elderly people as the "inertial material" of the society .
Art therapy work with this group of persons can be carried out in social centers, mental health centers or day care centers, hospitals, orphanages and other medical and social institutions. You can use different forms of art therapy, but group forms are usually considered to be preferred ones. Participation of elderly people in mixed groups is allowed, but in some cases it is advisable to form a group entirely with the elderly people - so you can focus on their specific needs or issues and take into account age requirements. The peculiarity of elderly people is their fatigue. Therefore, group sessions should be short, organized possibly in the morning and have a long break. It is necessary to take into account the probable factors such as the weakness of vision and hearing, stiffness of joints etc. Additional lightning, large brush or chalk can help in solving these problems.
Diagnostic and therapeutic processes in art therapy actually occur simultaneously in the context of the exciting spontaneous creativity. It results in easier establishing of emotional relationship of trust between the parties involved in the activity.
The situation of diagnosis in therapeutic drawing is less visible, members of all ages are not usually aware of it; it reduces the strength of protective responses and enables art therapists to diagnose the state of the client more accurately. The art therapeutic work priorities within groups are:
- creating an atmosphere of mutual acceptance, kindness, security, mutual emotional support;
- encouraging each participant to self-revelation through spontaneous creativity, the expression of relations and emotional reactions, discussion of topics proposed to provide feedback, introspection and analysis of group situations;
- the formation of significant interaction of group norms, the development of socialization, improved interpersonal relationships.
Preliminary work is appropriate when creating such groups: full-counseling, therapy .
During both individual and group sessions you can use exercises for preparing patients to work directed at mobilizing their attention, and in the group - to bringing together members of the joint action. For instance, the exercise "transfer sheet" is valuable because that picture has one author, and therefore can't be the subject of criticizing. Art therapist asks group members to draw something (this may be a familiar song or the whole image). Ten minutes later, one has to pass the pattern to his/her neighbor to the right. He/she adds something to the image and transmits it further around the circle until it returns to his/her first author. The technology "complete scribbles" is convenient one because it allows people to get started with no white sheet. On separate sheets of paper a therapist draws different winding lines, among which there aren't repetitive ones, and then transmits the image to the group and asked them to turn the line into an image. The clients then show their pictures to each other and discuss them.
It is better to get to work starting with simple tasks, such as "Write your name" - clients are asked to portray their names choosing style and form randomly. Most people are not strained and thus may demonstrate their creativity at the very beginning of the lesson.
To stimulate communication the technique of collage with colored paper and tissue can be used .
While having an individual work art therapist asks to draw one or the other story of their lives in their pictures. You can use the common technique of drawing between clients. Many elderly people have some difficulties in drawing, it reminds them of childhood and seems to be "frivolous pursuits." Sometimes they think that in a such subtle way art therapist examines the degree of "stupidity" because they are aware of their weakness of memory. However, many people still find this work to be a very important one because it allows them to realize that they have downplayed tensions for a long time doing "practically significant cases" without giving exit to their feelings and paying attention to such notion as "personal growth". People in this age group need to return to the past with a view to see a content in their own lives.
Older people do not always willingly show their work to others, may want to hide them from others, or even destroy, because in these works they reflect their helplessness .
While discussing group norms it is obligatory to indicate the rules associated with undervaluation judgments about each other and creativity of each product. The following standards are also offered: if there is no desire, you can't comment on their work or even abandon some exercise. To be engaged in art process the group can use pastel chalk with a wide range of colors, watercolor, gouache, markers, colored paper, magazine pictures for a collage and other materials. If the author doesn't like the work, you can take another paper and start over. It is desirable that each participant should have their own folder wherever he will have all his/her collected works during the period of having classes. Some exercises can be done twice: at the beginning and the end of the group work. A special therapeutic and emotional effect is achieved when the client finds a folder with his past drawings and compares them with the new ones .
It is appropriate to conduct classes for five to seven weeks, three hours a week, as it is reported to the group at the beginning of the classes. If you wish , you can continue working in the next cycle of art therapy sessions.
At the classes the elderly people discuss their drawings.On the one hand, it allows them to see similar feelings in the eyes of the others, on the other, allows the consultant to talk about feelings of guilt, helplessness, hopelessness and other conditions so that team members can discuss these problems. To facilitate a contact between clients at the beginning of each session there is a need to express the complex feelings they have at the beginning of the class, these exercises are not directly connected with a traumatic experience, but they are addressed to those periods of life and situations where a person was safe. These exercises can be performed in music with eyes closed, drawing with his left hand. Women usually like such exercises as they help them to feel more powerful. At the beginning of classes the exercises directed at group cohesion are appropriate, e.g. when members of the group on one large sheet of paper draw together their ideas about security. The expectations concerning the work of the group, also can be expressed by means of art tools and then discussed. The optimal number of group members is from three to fifteen people.
The art therapy space is organized in accordance with the objectives and content of work. Classes can be structured or unstructured. The first one are characterized by themes or visual means' predetermination. However, the content of creative activity, intended form of implementation, work pace are determined by the member. In unstructured sessions, participants choose their own theme, materials and tools. Music, singing, movement, dance, drama, poetry, creation stories and so on are often used during classes. Such forms of art therapy that combine different ways of creative expression, are called multimedia .
We consider several types of equipment that are suitable for dealing with various problems. They can be used in individual art therapy.
Technology 1. "Who am I?". Members are proposed to give at least ten verbal answers to the question "Who am I?" and to draw the image of “I” in the combination with the spontaneous pattern - and give it a name. Two ways of performing tasks allow you to compare verbal and nonverbal characteristics that reflect the interaction of conscious and unconscious aspects of the psyche.
2. Technology "Apple". Most people at least once in their lives have plucked an apple from the tree, and if not, there is a visible image in their mind. This is the basis of technology developed by art therapists L. Gantt and C. Tabone. It is usually the project technique, including the image analysis.
Materials: A4 paper, set markers or crayons (12 colors, including grey and black). The instruction to the task - "Draw a man who tears an apple from a tree" - provides participants with a high degree of freedom and allows to model the proposed situation on their own. This means that the level of problem solving, in fact, depends on the artist picture. For example, you can draw a suitable height tree with enough apples that grow low enough and a person of the same height. Diverse images can be formally classified by the following criteria:
- Content (story), availability of the set of instructions (man, tree, apple), completeness or fragmentary images of these objects;
- The method of action (that is depicted - preparation to action, action itself or the end result?)
- The results (applied by a person to achieve the goal, how successful the result is - has an apple been teared off?). This figure gives an analysis of the dominant ways of achieving specific goals or strategies that make up a style of decision making which, in its turn, determines the individual achievements and results of the interaction with other people .
Thus, isotherapy has a unique property of being multifunctional instrument. Isotherapy methods may be used in social work with elderly people, correcting their emotional state and as a method of entertainment. Art-therapy differs from modern art in that way that its creative process is primarily important and there is no need for having special skills and the use of art as a means of integration and reintegration of the individual is common.
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