Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Empathy through Art Therapy with Mentally Ill Inmates

I recently started an Empathy through Art Therapy group with our small population of mentally ill inmates at the hospital. In our first group, I asked them to create a picture of what empathy means. Some didn't really know, so first we discussed what empathy is, and gave some examples. We also talked about the difference between empathy and sympathy. Some still had some difficulty with the concept, but they were all willing to give the directive a try. One man drew several faces of a person trying to have empathy for another person.  Other patients drew about their own experience of feeling empathy for someone else. I hope this group can help these patients understand better what empathy is, and help them practice feeling empathy for others, in an effort to help them to not re-offend.