Rehabilitation Through the Arts: How Art Therapy Impacts Incarcerated Woman

Rehabilitation Through the Arts: How Art Therapy Impacts Incarcerated Woman

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-7856-1.ch004
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Prison rehabilitation and its impact on different populations, such as women, is not a new concept. Yet, efforts to create healing and non-judgment spaces are continuing to grow and undergoing evaluation. One of these alternative treatments is art therapy. The present review makes use of literature to explore the connection and effective between art therapy, prison rehabilitation, and women. Using the example of how the results of art therapy in treatment spaces can differentiate according to gender, this research shows that mental health among women is more prominent in comparison to men. The results revealed that woman -in general- through different approaches, had effective results emerging from art therapy in prison rehabilitation. In addition, it in most cases, the literature revealed that during prison rehabilitation, women react better to art therapy than men. This chapter argues that the implementation of art therapy as a form of treatment during prison rehabilitation is an effective method for incarcerated women.
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The Art Of Art Therapy As A Practice

A common theme in psychology and literature discusses how Art Therapy is a creative medium to convey emotions. Art Therapy functions through a variety of approaches and populations, with “not only therapists, but with counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and even physicians who use art expression for therapy (Malchiodi, 2003).” With more mental health professionals employing art therapy to aid their patients, art therapy has appeared to be an important and efficacious tool for connecting with patients and for patients to connect with their emotions. This practice is based on the idea that the creative process of art making is healing and life-enhancing and is a form of nonverbal communication of thoughts and feelings (American Art Therapy Association, 1996, as cited in Malchiodi, 2003). This way, patients with different feelings and in some cases, with mental health conditions, can freely express an array of emotions.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: CBT is a type of psychotherapeutic treatment that helps people learn how to identify and change destructive or disturbing thought patters that have a negative influence on behavior and emotions.

Art Therapy: integrated mental health and form of psychotherapy that involves encouragement and self-expression through art such as painting, drawing and more.

Recidivism: the tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend.

Internal Locus of Control: when people believe that their success or failure is a result of the effort and hard work they invested in their education.

Prison rehabilitation: the process of helping inmates grow and change, allowing them to separate themselves from the environmental factors that made them commit a crime in the first place.

External Locus of Control: the person generally believes that their successes or failures result from external factors beyond their control.

PTSD: short for post-traumatic stress disorder, is an anxiety disorder that develops in reaction to physical injury and/or severe mental or emotional distress.

Psychotherapy: the treatment of mental health disorders by psychological rather than medical means.

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