Painting against the inner demons
Many patients find it helpful when they express their thoughts, feelings and memories creatively. But scientists are only slowly beginning to take an interest in the healing effects of art.
The shadows of her childhood almost put Catherine behind the walls of the psychiatric hospital permanently. There the young French woman was treated with electric shocks for a nervous breakdown – without success. During her therapy, however, she also got to know painting, which she found to be much more healing than all other attempts at treatment. Catherine painted childlike fairy tale worlds and fantastic beings, with which she could process the traumatic experiences of sexual abuse by her father. She then dedicated her life to art. Today her colorful Nana sculptures, which she created under the artist name Niki de Saint Phalle, are world-famous.
Every day, patients in clinics use pen and brush to fight their inner demons. Art therapy is used in particular in psychiatry, psychosomatics, oncology, neurology and geriatrics. With the various means of fine arts - such as painting, drawing, modeling or photography - the patients try to express their thoughts, feelings and memories, to discover their creativity and to train their sensory perception. This should help them to cope better with their illness. Art therapy is offered either individually or in a group and uses, among other things, deep psychological and behavioral therapy techniques. According to the Psychotherapist Act, however, it is not a billable psychotherapy procedure, but is mainly used in rehabilitation as a component of a larger therapy concept. As such, it is then taken over by the statutory he alth and pension funds. She is also … in nursing homes, special schools and prisons.