Chennai

Use of music, play and animals in therapy for mentally challenged discussed

Participants at Manam 2019 Fest on Saturday.

Participants at Manam 2019 Fest on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: M. Karunakaran

The use of music, arts, play and animals in therapy for the mentally challenged was discussed at a programme organised in the Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health (BALM) at Kovalam.

Participating in ‘Manam 2019’, a students fest, on Saturday, play therapist Divyatha Kota said playing was a natural way to connect with special children. “You don’t need words to communicate with children, you have to sit with them and allow them to guide you,” she said.

Music therapist Lakshmi Mohan said that her work with autistic children had shown that such children were more inclined towards music. “They are usually not very communicative. But music helps them express what they cannot through words,” she explained.

Shilpa Raghavan said that many of her clients were very expressive when interacting with animals. “Once the person picks up a rapport with the animal, we start working with the issues that they have,” she said.

Lakshmi Shankaran, who does art-based therapy, said that art allowed clients to express beyond words.

“I had a client who had schizophrenia and would not talk. But she came for all the 30 art sessions and did colouring and even managed to mumble a piece of appreciation to the next person about her colouring,” she recalled. Street plays, art and story telling sessions were also held as part of Manam 2019.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 12:23:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/use-of-music-play-and-animals-in-therapy-for-mentally-challenged-discussed/article26227012.ece

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