“Playing in the Mud”

Food for thought – quotations from a paper on health psychology, the arts and creative approaches to health care:

“…/these common life challenges have become medicalized and, by extension, pathologized by the prevailing diagnostic classification./…/leaves little room for innovative practices that focuses on adaptation and acceptance as part of what it means to be healthy (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). In keeping many life’s processes and difficulties within the realm of medical practice, and thus often detached from the social and cultural fundamentals of a society, we are discouraged from drawing upon basic human activities, such as those offered by the arts, in times of distress.”

“An alternative approach is the development of community-based health care initiatives that involve the arts as part of public health interventions anchored in a cultural milieu (White, 2006)/…”

“Rather than remaining focused on an illness model of health care where patients seek out physicians and mental health professions, the arts can help people engage in creative production, develop new skills, regenerate local traditions and encourage health-themed events where people can support each other and foster better life choices (White, 2006, p.132).”

“…/how the arts might be used in a variety of ways to heal emotional injuries, increase understanding of self and others, develop a capacity for self-reflection, reduce symptoms, change behaviour, alter thinking patterns, inhibit maladaptive responses and encourage adaptive ones.”

“…/working with the arts in health care has been a bit like playing in the mud; it is messy at times, the outcome is not certain and one feels personally challenged in different ways, but it can be greatly enjoyable, and for many clients and community members the experience adds innumerable (evidence-based) benefits.”

Source: Camic, P.M. Playing in the Mud. Health Psychology, the Arts and Creative Approaches to Health Care. Journal of Health Psychology 2008, 13:287.

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