557.3 Art Therapy with Older Adults

This course examines current topics and trends in the field of art therapy, including special needs of older adults/geriatrics as they relate to the practice of art therapy. Both normal and abnormal behavior will be addressed as related to older adults, life cycle issues, and diagnosis. Issues pertaining to the art therapist in a variety of clinical and community settings are explored. Creative engagement and meaningful art therapy experiences can enhance the quality of life for older adults, both with and without memory related disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The expressive art therapies encourage listening, witnessing, and connecting to tap into the rich life stories of older adults; often transforming the negative stereotypes associated with aging. Through the creative process we explore the experience of growing older and often facilitate new experiences which provide a sense of purpose, meaning and value. The arts offer lifelong learning opportunities for all and can often become a bridge for creating intergenerational connection. 10/22