What is ABT?
Background Salient Features
- ʻArts-Based Therapyʼ is a term that was coined by WCCL Foundation in 2001, to represent the use of multiple art forms (music, drama, visual arts) & their combinations in therapy.
- Since 2001, the core team of WCCL Foundation has been conducting action research projects in organizations which work with special needs groups. Observations & results from the past 13 years of action research have refined the ABT model, and continue to do so.
- In order to practice ABT, an eligible person has to complete the ABT Certificate Course by WCCL Foundation.
Clinical Uses & Goals
ABT has been found suitable for the following categories of special needs:
- Children with special needs: Children in special schools, with a range of intellectual disability, Cerebral Palsy, physical disabilities, on the Autism spectrum, and such.
- Children at-risk: Children with psycho-social needs, in orphanages, in cancer treatment or palliative care, in government institutions, living in at-risk economic or social zones, girls who are victims of trafficking, survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and such.
- Adults: Rehabilitation or After-Care for substance abuse, In institutional care or in treatment for mental health concerns, In palliative care, women in at-risk situations, victims of trafficking and such.
ABT can be practiced in a group or with individual clients, dyads or triads. In the case of halfway homes, de-addiction centres etc, ABT can be applied to a ‘floating population’ wherein, the members keep changing, but they are coming with similar issues.
Theoretical Orientation & Lineages
The theoretical foundations of ABT are rooted in Buddhist Philosophy from the Nalanda Tradition. To know more on this click the following link –
Nalanda Tradition in Contemporary Practice of ABT In India.
TheRhythmic Lineage – Mr. Arthur Hull’s Drum Circle Facilitation.
The Song-Story Lineage – Ms. Heather MacTavish as published in her book ‘Songs, Science & Spirit.
‘Drama & Movement Lineage – Dr. Sue Jennings’ work on dramatherapy, UK.
The Visual Aesthetics lineage – Eastern traditions of sacred spaces, mandalas, and Zen art.
Assessment & Evaluation
A variety of assessment domains are charted out, and they help focus awareness on a particular dimension of the client. As the client is perceived holistically, it is possible to set correct therapeutic goals for their healing (WCCLF 2013).
Multiple tools and methods like – Rating Scales, Observation Checklists, Standard Tests, Audio-Visual documentation, and artistic tools – are assembled together to reflect the progress or changes noted in a client / group over a period of time in the ABT intervention.