Palliative Art Therapy. The Shades of a Sunset
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Palliative art therapy is a form of care over a patient in terminal state where art in different forms is utilized. Hence, we call it bibliotherapy, poetry therapy, music therapy, and visual therapy. The choice which kind of art will be applied is with the patient depending on his preferences as well as the competencies of the person providing care. Art therapy can take a professional form when it is provided by trained art therapists, bibliotherapists and especially music therapists. It can also take an auxiliary form of support for phisicians, nurses, clargymen, volounteers. In the latter case, what matters most is the personal sensitivity of the care provider not only to the pain which is experienced in the process but also the sensitivity to art as the manifestation of the most intimate and profound human experiences relating to the meaning of life and death. The paper discusses the characteristics of palliative art terapy which make it distinct from other types of therapy and focuses on its selected most representative forms. It also describes the achievements of a few most prominent artists (Munch, Mahler), which at certain stages of their lives was consoling to them at the time when their beloved ones passed away. The knowledge of this art should, in the opinion of the author, help the care providers in the palliative care better understand the emotional states of persons coping with the problems of existence.
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