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INDIA: Scientific studies are unravelling the link between art and healing

Tushara a blood cancer patient engaging in art-therapy. Picture Credits: The Week

"Dr Samir Parikh, director of the department of mental health and behavioural sciences, Fortis Healthcare, says that art therapy is used to treat a range of mental health issues such as depression, substance abuse, anxiety and schizophrenia. However, the scope of art therapy goes beyond mental health care, he says. “We provide art therapy sessions to all children and teens admitted at Fortis,” he says. “We also provide art-based sessions to patients who are suffering from conditions like cancer, trauma, dementia and stroke. He adds that art therapy should be used to supplement conventional methods of treatment. “For example, in a stroke case, the patient might be receiving physiotherapy and counselling,” he says. “Along with that, he may receive an art therapy session to improve his motor skills, cognitive functioning and movement. We also use art therapy sessions and workshops to facilitate self-discovery and growth." [...]

"Art Therapists Aditi Kaul and Tanushree Sangma performed a mock “mirroring game”—a common exercise in dance/movement therapy and drama therapy— at Sukoon Health, a psychiatric hospital governed by Fortis Memorial Research Institute. It started with Sangma raising her right hand and moving her body to her right. Kaul imitated her. Then Sangma moved to the left. Kaul did, too. Soon, their moves became like a dance. This was followed by a discussion about their emotional states while doing the “dance”.

More examples and studies of art and drama therapy-in-action are presented in the full article here by The Week's Nirmal Jovial.


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