by Jennifer Hakola
This study examines the value of art therapy for the elderly in a long term care facility. Psychoanalysis, object relations theory, and phenomenology are highlighted in relation to the art therapy approach used in this study.
Findings confirm the value of art therapy for the elderly by discovering the benefits from the creative process. These values and benefits were discovered by seeing the needs and issues of the participants within the art. The treatment goals for this program arose from assessing the needs of the elderly. Most significant of these were mental and physical stimulation, social interaction, emotional expression, life review, and an opportunity for increasing self esteem through positive experiences. It is shown in this study that art therapy can provide a general increase in pleasure and joy in life for the elderly.