The week in between Spring break and Easter break usually feels like the longest week ever, but there was an interesting lesson learned through the tough week! Each group in my Art Therapy class has the opportunity to design their own directive for a specific population for the semester’s presentation assignment. One of the groups from this past week demonstrated an extraordinary directive that accommodates patients who have suffered from a stroke.
Paint palettes, cotton balls, small scale sponge brushes, and clothes pins were displayed around the classroom tables. Students could create their own picture on a separate piece of paper or use the given blank examples. These blank examples resembled mandalas or scenes full of empty circles for the patients with limited dexterity and motor skills. There was a spin to this directive, however, that none of us were expecting; all students had to use their non-dominant hand. This really dove into the true experience of being a stroke patient. Using their non-dominant hand was to give the experience of going all of your life learning daily routines and how quickly simple tasks change after having a stroke. Students could pull apart the cotton balls to small circles, use their original shape, or the small sponges to paint within these given circles. These were all easy tasks, but became more difficult when using the hand you’re not used to.
Stroke patients and this directive were a perfect example how Art therapy can be used with populations whose primary need is mental health. It is understood that having stroke can bring on some sadness, anger, or frustration. Art therapy can be there to assist to their motor skills needs after their stroke AND the mental health that can come along with it!
P.S. This directive really reminded us art students of pointilism! How cool is it to connect a directive to a famous art style used in history?!