CHENNAI: Expressive art therapy has become a very important adjunct for intervention in mental health. One of the most important aspects in regard to mental health has been the integration of intervention. But due to stigma, it’s often overlooked upon. Fortunately, since art is viewed as non-threatening and completely acceptable, it has become a vital tool in the intervention process,” said R Padmavathi, director, SCARF to CE at the inauguration of the International Seminar on Creative Arts Therapies at Women’s Christian College (WCC) on Tuesday.
The two-day seminar organised by The Department of Psychology, WCC, was inaugurated by Dr Padmavati R, chief guest; Dr Sangeetha Prasad, art therapist; Lilian J Jasper, principal; professor Paul P Appasamy, president, WCC Association, and Veena Easvardoss, head, Department of Psychology.
The seminar, an amalgamation of plenary sessions and workshops, dealt with the theme ‘Multimodal Approaches for Mental Health and Well-being’. From focusing on salutogenic approach in the new healthcare system, freedom through dance movement therapy, integrating art therapy for kids who are at high risk for post-traumatic stress disorder, a workshop to embrace emotions through stories, movement-based self-care techniques to psychodrama, the sessions covered it all.
“Creative arts therapy is not just about using music, art or dance for mental well-being. It is a holistic process about using spoken word, drama, poetry, story-telling and other creative processes in stimulation. Learning about the different nuanced methods has been an enriching experience,” said one of the delegates. Concurring, Dr Padmavathi said, “Creative Arts Therapies should be interspersed into the mainstream curriculum in colleges. It doesn’t necessarily have to be part of a formal syllabus, but it can be part of a programme that’s beyond books and classrooms. While the movement has seen growth, it is yet to gain momentum.”
About 250 delegates — students, teachers, practitioners and NGO representatives from across the city and pockets of the country have registered for the seminar. Sumathy Sundar, professor of music therapy; Sajani Velayudhan, clinical psychologist; Sowmya Srinivasan of Soul Space Storytell; Anshuma Kshetrapal, drama and movement psychotherapist; Nina Cherla, clinical music therapist; Haseena Abdulla, psychodrama practitioner; Brinda Jacob-Janvrij, movement-based expressive arts therapist; Tripura Kashyap and Bhaktiveda Dhaul Taragi were also part of the seminar.
Sessions and workshops
The two-day International Seminar on
Creative Arts Therapies was an amalgamation of plenary sessions and workshops. It dealt with the theme ‘Multimodal Approaches for Mental Health and Well-being’.