Studio Approaches

As understood while studying art therapy, there are so many approaches to go about with a client or a group of clients. Depending on population/age/diagnosis, there are several approaches to use in your art therapy session. There are three that mainly worked with when it comes to studio art therapy – open studio, structured studio, and loose structured studio.

  • In the use of the open studio, this structure allows the individual to create and explore their creativity openly. The use of open studio structure can be used with most, if not all, populations – but must be used properly. Open studio deals with a lot of accommodation because not every client is the same. All individuals in the group may have PTSD, but not on the same level of functioning, needs, and proper motor skills. This gives the opportunity for thr art therapist to assist clients when it is needed. Three main areas to focus on in open studio is materials, content, and exploration.
  • Loose Structured approach focuses on the independency of the clients. There is a set material given to the individuals, but an open ended theme. This approach may be ideal to begin with in new groups to learn and master the use of certain materials.  Two major key points to hit when using loose structure are open-ended theme and limited materials (to a point).
  • When using the Structured/Controlled Studio approach, there are more limitations in the session and still a sense of freedom and independent work. There is a set topic or theme AND a set material. For example, a group of females with a background of trauma creating an altered book on their representation of coping mechanisms. A mural project can be another example of a structured approach as well. A controlled studio approach must consist of a given theme and a given set material.

These studio approaches are always beneficial to have handy and ready for use. Again, they can be used with any population, but must be used properly. These approaches are great for self-discovery, exploration, and adventure within the great use of art materials.

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