Recognizing the growing complexities of an urban lifestyle and the increasing side effects of stress, anxiety and the lack of essential communication among individuals, Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI), launched ‘Art Therapy Clinic’ to incorporate the use of art in the treatment for people experiencing illness, trauma, challenges in living, and those seeking personal development. Art Therapy when integrated with conventional methods including counseling, speech therapy and occupational therapy is known to show superior results for people of all ages including children, individuals, couples, families, groups and communities.
FMRI is organizing a week long Art Week, where it would host a series of workshops and demonstrations to showcase the benefits of Art Therapy. It will host sessions on a wide range of topics such as Art Therapy for Attention and Concentration, Art Therapy for Social Skills Training, Art therapy for Stress Management, Art therapy for a Healthy Marriage and Art Therapy for disruptive behaviours. FMRI is also hosting an art exhibition by the emerging artist Kavita Kamath, Psychologist at FMRI and the receiver of several prestigious recognitions and awards. Kavita’s theme Art with Heart – Sublime Expression, will feature paintings with aesthetic spill into landscapes, seascapes, figurative, still life and abstract works. Part proceeds of her work will go to the Fortis Art and Health Foundation for the treatment of underprivileged children.
The benefits of art therapy can be best summed by the famous quote of Pablo Picasso, “Art Washes from the Soul the dust of everyday life. Through the creative process involved in artistic self-expression of art, people can resolve conflicts better, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, and improve self-esteem and self-awareness. In almost all cases we treat, we have seen that when combined with Art Therapy, the recovery improves significantly, especially in chronic illnesses explained Dr Samir Parikh, Director, Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Hospitals. said, Kamna Chibber, Clinical Psychologist, Head, Mental Health, FMRI “The use of Art Therapy is especially useful in cases of small children in the form of Art and Play since younger children might not be very comfortable with verbal communication. Children also have a very short attention span and that is where the use of Art Therapy can be utilized optimally. In Children, it is seen to foster integration of emotional, cognitive, and sensory processes. Art Therapy also brings benefits to people suffering sexual abuse, cancer, terminally ill diseases and those having marital discord. It is also seen useful among teenagers, adults as well as the elderly people.”
“Sometimes words are not adequate since they can’t reach that emotional space. It is different from Art classes as we do not look towards reaching a final goal. What is more important is such a form of therapy aids the process of healing,” explained Kanika Mehrotra, Art Therapist at FMRI. Added Dr. Parikh, “Our team of art therapists includes professionals are trained in both art and therapy. The team is knowledgeable about aspects of human development, psychological theories, clinical practice, spiritual, multicultural and artistic traditions, and the healing potential of art. The team uses art in treatment, assessment and research, and in providing consultations. We believe Art Therapy is a powerful tool and can become a differentiator for our patients across all ages by giving them the confidence to deal with the situations and complexities of life with great ease.”
FMRI has in the past used this form of therapy in treatment of Baby Roona, Neuro Rehabilitation program for children with Cerebral Palsy and Cancer patients.