While this website promotes the use of the arts for brain health recovery, opposition must be acknowledged in the interests of fairness and balance.
Like everything else these days, there seems to be a left and a right angle to whether the arts should be used for therapeutic purposes. For instance, a publication, The American Spectator, has issued an Oct. 2, 2021 article titled, “Art Therapy: An Unscientific Hunch That Claims to Treat Serious Medical Conditions.” The article was written by Ellie Gardey.
The author lists a number of conditions being treated with art therapy, such as PTSD, eating disorders, bipolar disorder and postpartum depression. Academic sources are then cited to support Gardey’s argument that insufficient evidence is available for using art as a means of therapy.
Gardey notes a serious issue can arise for someone needing professional help.
“The problem emerges when a patient who needs medical help for a mental health condition turns to ‘art therapy’ instead of treatments that have been shown to be effective,” Gardey writes.
To be clear, I find that a problem as well. None of my blog entries have advocated for replacing traditional therapies with art therapy. I have written in previous posts that a team effort is needed to overcome mental illness, which includes traditional methods of treatment like psychotherapy.
However, Gardey’s concern goes much further than my own. For Gardey, art therapy is practically inconsequential and elitist.
“Art therapy can often be harmless, as it is often sought out by wealthy, female, liberal clients who are seeking growth experiences,” Gardey states.
Another drawback for the writer is that education for art therapists has high costs while jobs are hard to obtain. When jobs are found, the pay is low compared to the cost of graduate school.
The American Spectator’s website states that it is a conservative publication standing for American values, such as individual liberty and limited government. Another article on the site is titled, “How to Fight Schools’ COVID Mitigation Madness.”
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