Monday, February 14, 2011

Art Therapy in Lahore, Pakistan

A new study taking place in Lahore, Pakistan seeks to bring art therapy to the region for the first time. According to The Daily Times, a two-month course on art therapy will be available for local professionals with degrees in Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, and Fine Arts. Created by the Fountain House, an international organization dedicated to creating a mutual support group for those with mental health issues the program looks to expand the practice of art therapy that has already seen success in the region. Asim Amjad, the man leading the study in Lahore, has already seen positive results from his painting workshops assisting patients with schizophrenia and mood disorders.

I find this to be a truly inspiring development. In my research and interviews for my article on art therapy, I not only heard of the success of these types of treatments but the bias against the field itself. As I heard through a professor of art therapy at SAIC, the cultural bias against art therapy coupled with the neglect of marginalized groups in the art world can lead to some neglecting the treatment altogether. Hopefully, if this program yields positive results it will reaffirm the opinions of many art therapists that their work is beneficial and maybe convert some skeptics.

-John Stone

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