Healing powers of art therapy

Participants of 2 public workshops on art therapy held at DISTED College from 27 to 29 December 2013 discovered more about the creative process of art making in generating healing powers that help people to communicate, overcome stress and explore different aspects of their personalities to enhance personal well-being.

They learnt how art, when integrated with psychotherapeutic techniques, could be an effective tool in promoting the mental health of all ages including children and youths. [ezcol_1half]

Prof Hildrun Rolff (right) from Germany’s Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences shares insights on the healing powers of artistic self-expressions at her art therapy workshop organized by the International Postgraduate Medical Training (IPMT) Malaysia in collaboration with DISTED.

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The art therapy workshop participants including DISTED lecturer and student counsellor Ruzanna Abdul Shukor (with headscarf) in an artistic self-expression activity.


Workshop trainer Hildrun Rolff, who is the professor of art therapy and head of further education, art therapy, multidisciplinary medicine and psychology at Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences in Germany, said: “The workshops aimed to empower people who are interested in art therapy and want to do something to promote psychological well-being and inspire survival.”

“The training primarily focussed on the practical aspects of ‘how could I stay healthy’ and how artistic expressions could give us a clue on the development of children and youths.

“Their life stories may speak through art and images,” said the licensed art therapist with vast experience in teaching, coaching and supervising individuals and groups. [ezcol_1half]

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Pharmacist Lim Fang Huey gaining practical exposure to art therapy at the workshop.


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Wushu coach June Lee explores how one’s inner thoughts and feelings can be conveyed through images and colours.


“The participants learnt how to develop specific indications in art therapy through observing basic artistic gestures of children and youths and taking cognizant of the physiological and psychological principles of human development,” said Hildrun, who has been an anthroposophic art therapist for over 30 years in various clinical and social fields.

Through sharing case studies and her practical experiences, Hildrun clarified how artistic self-expressions could help young people to resolve conflicts and problems, manage behaviours and achieve insights to raise self-awareness and self-esteem.

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DISTED lecturer Jayaeswari Sangaralingam (left) shares her views at the art therapy workshop conducted by Prof Hildrun Rolff from Germany’s Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences.

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Prof Hildrun Rolff from Germany’s Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences (right) explains how people can stay psychologically fit with art therapy at her workshop held at DISTED.