When the COVID-19 pandemic happened, a lot of us had to make the switch to virtual therapy. Creative arts therapists had to become even more creative with exercises and how to utilize at-home tools to support you in the virtual space. As we enter a post-COVID-19 world, we still practice virtual therapy options and see how it is beneficial for clients.

In this video example of the beginnings of a virtual session, you will see myself, Cree Noble, a drama therapist in training, working with Kiaran Hartnett, a dance/movement therapy intern acting as the client.

Video description:

Description of the video: A roleplay example of a clinician asks a client to illustrate her week by creating a movie poster about it. After the client creates the movie poster, they discuss why the client decided to draw it, which  leads into their session. 

In this video, you saw how creative arts therapy can still be used to foster artistic practices, continuity, and healing during sessions. Studies have shown that people who use virtual therapy miss fewer sessions than people in person. According to Ellis (2023), “After the onset of the COVID pandemic, when about half of all psychotherapy visits were via telehealth, patients with mental health conditions were less likely to have significant disruption in care; defined as gaps of more than 45 days between psychotherapy appointments (news-medical.net).”

This is beneficial for you and your creative arts therapist because if they are working on a creative piece with you, they have greater chances that you can continue to work on it the following sessions.

Secondly, the video showed how even if you do not have many art supplies at home, we can think together about how to use household items to still create art in a therapy session. This can also foster a holistic repertoire between you and the clinician in the session by working together to get the most out of the session.

Benefits of Virtual Therapy

Virtual therapy provides several benefits for you.

A few of the benefits are greater accessibility, flexibility in scheduling, shortened treatment delays, and ease of stigma.

Creative arts therapy helps you to overcome the fear of making art, dancing, creating theatre, and/or music. This can be hard, but in the comfort of your own home, you can feel more comfortable trying creative arts practices that can be beneficial to your healing. 

As a drama therapist in training who works exclusively virtual, it has been a great joy to see how creative you all can be even through a computer screen. Virtual therapy allows us all to think outside of the box while incorporating media and traditional creative arts therapy in session.

From using beloved stuffed animals to communicate emotions, to dissecting song lyrics on YouTube to connect to the past, virtual therapy allows you to bring in things that might not be available in a typical therapy office. 

As we enter a post-COVID world, creative arts therapy in virtual sessions can still be beneficial and just as impactful for clients as it was during the height of the pandemic. 

Links:

https://www.news-medical.net/news/20231011/Virtual-psychotherapy-improved-continuity-of-care-during-COVID-19-pandemic.aspx#:~:text=Before%20the%20pandemic%2C%2097%25%20of,of%20more%20than%2045%20days.

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