Our art therapists and psychologists are highly qualified professionals who have a wide range of knowledge and practical experiences. Their knowledge can guide them to find the most appropriate method for therapy sessions which specifically adapt to the children’s needs. Here you can find detailed descriptions about the four main methods we are jointly using: the tale therapy, graphic and visual art therapy, music therapy and psychodrama.
Our complex therapy sessions in hospitals have their basis on Metamorphoses Tale Therapy Method developed by Ildiko Boldizsar. This method states that the complex knowledge contained by traditional folk tales affects people on cultural, social and psychological level as well. Folktales are similar to universal teachings of philosophies or religions about the operation of the world and about the life mission of the human being in it.
In therapy you look for the tale which contains the life situation of the patient. That is, you reveal the problem which is difficult for the patients, but the heroes of the tales can solve it. The heroes have the same aims, and they can cope with all the difficulties in stories.
Effects and Usefulness of Tale Therapy
The different kinds of tales are applicable for different problems. According to the psychological typology of tales by Ildiko Boldizsar, animal tales, humorous tales, legendary tales are especially good for making a diagnosis, or revealing a problem for the conscious part of the mind. Fairy tales contain complex motives parallel to life situations, and problem-solving or coping strategies. Little children like formulary which have special linguistic forms, contain for example repeats. These repetitions calm down young children very effectively. Funny tales and laughing can make the immune system stronger, besides modifying the cognitive functions. Tales are able to reduce stress, increase the level of endorphin hormone, change the blood picture, or increase the level of the cancer-killer cells.
Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of art making to improve physical, emotional and mental well-being. Art therapy combines traditional psychotherapeutic theories and techniques with an understanding of the psychological aspects of the creative process. Through creative self-expression like drawing andpaintingchildren can also share their thoughts and concerns that they can hardly verbalize.
Our therapists use a wide range of methods in their sessions such as free drawing (e.g. a house, a tree or a man), family drawing or the Winnicott Scribble drawing. Sometimes the focus is on the joy of art making so the children can free their thoughts and feelings through working together and creating a big picture.
Effects of Graphic and Visual Art Therapy
During art therapy sessions, children explore their creativity which can help them to express their feelings and thoughts through a way that they feel comfortable with without the need of saying them out loud. This creative process can help improve their relationship with other people and encourage them to be self-confident. The creative process of art making may help children to control anxiety, depression and deal with low self-esteem.
Another type of non-verbal art therapy is the music therapy. We are using active, passive and complex music therapy techniques for a long time now in our individual and group therapies. The different methods, where children are playing on special musical instruments, listening to music and creating piece of arts in a relation to the music, has several beneficial effects for the children’s health. Both therapists and children enjoy working with rhythmical instruments and drums which can reduce tension and anxiety. Another instrument, called the kalimba, is also very popular during our hospital therapy sessions. With kalimba, there is no need to have previous musical experiences, and its relaxing sound also serves as an effective stress reduction. With music, children can express their feelings and thoughts regarding to their illnesses or difficult situations and they can share it with each other by creating a positive and joyful atmosphere even in a sterile hospital room.
Effects of Music Therapy
Music has powerful effects by itself. In a physical level, music can regulate and enhance the immune system (e.g. with harmonic music, alpha immune globulin, serotonin and dopamine hormones can be multiplied, blood circulation may improve, breathing becomes deeper and brain waves can get into the alpha stage). In an emotional level, children can express their feelings without verbalising it, which sometimes is more powerful and deeper than talking about them. In the cognitive level, the playful and creative environment may start the self-healing process, enhance creativity and the use of symbols. In social levels, music enables to feel empathy and closeness therefore children can get a closer relationship with their parents and with others.
Psychodrama is a group psychotherapy method by which children can explore and heal through action, catharsis and experience. Every session gives the opportunity for children to enter another world, where anything can happen. Children can play those roles that they really want to and express those emotions symbolically that hinder them in everyday life. The unreality of the story helps children express themselves freely and more authentically than they do it in their everyday life.
Psychodrama method can be successfully applied in case of children facing chronic disease, children suffering from inferiority complex, distressed, reserved children and those underperforming at school.
Effects of Psychodrama
The process that begins with group therapy sessions allows children to get rid of their “masks” and explore their real identity and find ways to cope with difficult life situations. In the role-play children bring their own life stories and work with their own experiences and their own trauma while acting but only to the extent they can cope with it. This is why self-healing is a possible.
Children explore their creativity, develop their self-respect and they start to believe that they are as important and valuable as their healthy peers. The new patterns of behaviour they acquire also help them develop effective conflict resolution techniques.