with such a large number of complementary therapies offered in the Geneva area, I feel the need to inform you about what is the value of Art Therapy and explain who are the patients that benefit from it. If after reading these lines you need to know more please feel free to contact me.
Here is a fact: as kids we are encouraged by our parents and teachers to paint and be creative. Later, this activity is almost suppressed being considered less important for our development.
Kids have a primal ability and preference to express through creation rather than through words.
Adolescents face their own difficulties that are often accompanied by resistance and difficulty to communicate verbally. The "nobody understands me" situation is typical of this age.
These target groups find it particularly useful to communicate through creation and usually benefit a lot from art therapy.
It is surprising how adults greatly benefit from art therapy by recovering immediately their primal ability to express themselves thought creation. This is true in both one-to-one and in group sessions.
The value of art therapy
In the UK, where I was trained and practiced for some years, art therapy is a recognised form of psychotherapy used to improve the well-being and mental health of patients.
Psychotherapy is an evidence-based practice that is also used to treat diagnosed mental disorders.
The value of the arts in therapy is demonstrated by various research projects. Following are some examples:
Art Therapy Improves Mood, and Reduces Pain and Anxiety when Offered at Bedside during Acute Hospital Treatment by Tamara A. Shella of the Clevelant Clinic, USA
«In the 21st century, culture will be what physical activity was for health in the 20th century»,
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Your Questions answered
How many sessions does my patient need?
I recommend a cycle of 10 sessions to begin with. A revision can help us decide whether we continue further the sessions or not. However, art therapy is mostly a psychodynamic form of therapy, which often requires more sessions in order to see progress in the everyday life.
I expect most participants to leave the first cycle with a better self awareness in particular related to their problem. This awareness shall be the basis for whatever further exploration and therapy they need or you as a medical expert may propose to them.
You are welcome to discuss with me the needs of a particular participant. It would be best if you also propose them to meet me for a first session free-of-charge so I can understand their needs.
Do I need to give a referral?
There are two cases:
Swiss Health Complementary Insurances may cover the costs of Art Therapy without a doctors referral as this is a practice complementary to medicine. Patient should talk directly to their insurance.
International Organisations typically require a doctor's referral even for complementary practices.
To read more about costs and coverage read this page.
Nevertheless, If you believe your patient will benefit from Art Therapy sessions, it is a good idea to specifically refer them to a non-medical practitioner that you trust.
If you need to discuss your case please contact me.
Can they try it?
The first session is free of charge and without obligation to continue. It is an evaluation session for both the therapist and the participant, where we look at expectations or questions people may have about their therapy.
A typical cycle comprises of 10 to 15 sessions of 60 minutes each for individual sessions and 90-105 minutes for groups depending on the number of participants. The time and space boundaries are also part of the therapeutic process.
I expect most participants to leave the first cycle with a better self awareness in particular related to their problem. This awareness shall be the basis for whatever further exploration and self-healing they might need.