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Occupational therapy in the Patient Club "In Via"

Mrs. Agata Rutkiewicz in the "In Via" Patient Club at the CZP for the Wrocław-Psie Pole district deals with conducting various, attractive classes in the field of occupational therapy on a daily basis. He talks about what such a wide offer gives in an interview with Maciej Adamski.

What is art therapy and how does it affect people with emotional and mental problems?

Therapy through art, or art therapy, combines art and therapeutic activities. Its essence is the process of creation, while the leading goal is to activate the hands, which is also associated with the stimulation of the cerebral hemispheres.
Art therapy uses artistic means to express oneself and work through the difficulties with which a club member comes to therapy. It is also an important element of communication. Its therapeutic nature can contribute to correcting the way you behave, feel and think. It also enables the involvement of physical forces, which perfectly affect the discharge of emotions. During the workshops, participants have the opportunity to externalize their own needs, feelings, and even fear, which is especially important for people who have difficulty expressing their thoughts and feelings verbally. Communing with art has a positive effect on the well-being of club members, it has a relaxing effect on them. The various activities we offer include: ball therapy, film therapy, bibliotherapy, silvotherapy, trips to museums and galleries allow participants to discover and develop their talents.

What exactly do clubbers do in class?

During their stay at the Patient Club, participants have the opportunity to use various forms of occupational therapy. These include painting, sketching and coloring the mandala. During artistic handicraft classes, they learn the techniques of weaving from a string, create macrames, flowerbeds and all kinds of decorations. They learn decoupage, i.e. decorating objects made of wood, glass or metal with colorful napkins, gluing them to them so that they look like hand-painted.

Do I need to have any manual skills to participate in the classes?

Regardless of the level of fitness, manual skills or age, everyone can participate in the activities of the Patient Club. The most important artistic values or the final result of the work are not important here, but the creative process itself plays the leading role.

Are there cases where therapy turns into an interest in painting or drawing?

It often happens that patients discover new passions and interests. Someone has not had the opportunity, space or possibility to paint, work with clay or try other art forms before and suddenly discovers that it gives them satisfaction and fills time pleasantly. It also happens that the participants manage to bring out the hidden abilities in them, which they were not aware of before.

How do you perceive working with patients, what gives you satisfaction?

I am sensitive to the suffering of others, willing to help and accompany in development. The fact that I can help others gives me a huge amount of positive energy and fulfillment. Therefore, working with the members of the Club gives me great satisfaction. It benefits both patients and me. Not only do I teach them something, but they also inspire me. They share their valuable knowledge with me, which we can later use during our meetings together.

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