March 11, 2010

New Research Downloadable

Here is a recent posting that was found on the online chat group AiT (permission for posting granted by author):

The Neuroscience of Art Therapy is really interesting to me. Something
changes in the mind when art-making takes place. Most of the people reading
this already know through personal experience that this is true. I set
about researching neuroplasticity a couple of years ago, reading books about
the subject that I found interesting. I just followed my curiosity and soon
enough I was putting ideas together, synthesizing the bits of information I
collected into a cohesive whole.

Here's the gist of it. Learning creates neuronal links. Art making does
this, too. Making art keeps us mentally sharp in the same way that exercise
keeps us physically fit. One of the favorite books in my research immersion
is "In Search of Memory" by Eric Kandel. He came to neuroscience by way of
psychiatric training. The author was born in Austria and he had a
fascination with Freudian psychoanalysis. Knowing that all mental functions
have a physical manifestation in the brain, he was intensely curious about
the question, "Where in the brain does the ID reside?" What Kandel did find
is where and how short term memory becomes long-term memory. He discovered
that the emotional charge of a fearful or anxious memory in the amygdala is
moderated - lessened - when that memory becomes conscious. Bringing the
unconscious into conscious awareness helps dissipate the intense emotional
charge around it.

How could this NOT be exciting to an art therapist???

To read the whole paper I wrote, including a full bibliography, it is
available for purchase here:
http://www.Centerfo rCreativeGrowth. com/cat001. html


Susan Boyes , MA. ATR-BC, LPC
Board Certified Art Therapist
Licensed Professional Counselor
www.centerforcreati vegrowth. com
www.artistrees. blogspot. com
Art Therapy for Creative Renewal

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