It dawned on me like a slap in the face which somehow makes you feel great. Psycholgy over emphasizes, over focuses on the negative experiences of human beings as a whole. The areas of research which get the funding are those that focus on solving problems. This trend is echoed in the pinacle of this type of thinking. The trend in counseling known as Brief Solution Focused Therapy. The idea is that you focus on the solution to a problem and you drill it for a few sessions. not bad. Still, i think we can do better. The newest trend in Positive psychology is what takes us away from problem focused approach towards a prevention focused approach. Prevention is the new way. Not merely attempting to solve problems as they are bound to occur in a mindfield of social and systemic danger, but focusing on tilling a field which will be impervious to mines. This is what positive psycholgy hopes to do. This is what art therapy hopes to do. This is what Neurology hopes to do. Avoid problems, prevent them. Today in yahoo news a WHO report reiterated that one thirds of cancers could be prevented through lifestyle choice. We know now through neuroplasticity that the brain is changed by experience and that biology will never have the whole picture of mental health because there are social or experiential aspects to it which are not amenable the methods of enquiry employed within the science of biology. Because the brain is changed by experience, lifestyle choice, free will in general and social factors are central in fostering, maintaining, nurturing, preserving mental health. As I write this, i am thinking the massive positive impact of exercise on the physical and mental health of individuals. Art therapy is part of the movement towards prevention, towards better living, towards more positivist paths. Art therapy is part of the movement towards the self determination and self sustainability of human beings, nothing can take that away. No science for or against art therapy can take that away. Art therapy belongs to the socially constructed autobiographical narrative of humanity.
What does all this mean? it means that the future of Art therapy is inevitably tied into the future of neurology and positive psychology. Art therapy is a branch on the knowledge tree which includes those knowledge branches. Together, these three branches are the tree branches of prevention in the field of mental health. They are our allies, our brothers in the fight for better survival.
Imagine a world in which any conversation with someone on the street revolves around the questions: ''what are you creating?'' instead of ''what do you do for a living?''. In common, every citizen would have some interest in creative process. It could become the way we define ourselves. Actually, it already is. Everyone now has one common topic of conversation. That topic is creativity. Positivity. There is no longer any threat or danger because each person can talk to any other about what they create. The other will answer with passion what it is that they are involved in nurturing and bringing to life.