American Psychological Association (APA) as a Resource

The American Psychological Association is a very useful source for keeping up on current research and news in the world of psychology. Although it is the American association, much of the news is international. I especially like the organization’s mission of expanding knowledge psychology and engaging students and professors, by creating content that is clear and understandable. They also provide a Publications and Databases section with detailed suggested materials to find further resources.

In terms of how engaging this source is with its readers, I haven’t seen much in the way of comments on the site’s articles. However, on Facebook and Twitter it is very active with a lot of curated materials.

As a student interested in psychology and still close to the beginning of learning more about the field, I have found it very helpful so far. The research available through PsychINFO for public access is a great resource to double check facts I may have found on other sources or to further back up something that I read. The page Science of Psychology has also been a great resource as it divides the information into the different field of psychology such as brain science and cognitive psychology.

One thing I would say that the site could improve on is perhaps being a little less overwhelming. I know this might be hard because there is so much information for this organization to include on its site as psychology is such as massive field of science. At times I felt like I had to do some digging before I found anything that could be of use, mostly because it has a lot of things that are for sale available, which essentially is my issue. The Psychology Topics page is the best example of how the site solves this issue well through organization that makes sense to people who don’t know everything about the field. This is where I usually go when I’m specifically interested in a topic and want to learn more.

Other sources to check out that are similar and also informative are The American Art Therapy Association and the International Art Therapy Association, as these are more narrow in subject matter.

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Intro to Expressive Therapies

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Photo: CC0, Khara Woods, 2016

The field of Expressive Therapy has recently become quite a phenomenon throughout the United States with the rise of health and wellness awareness. Although it is seen as a more alternative process, Expressive Therapy, also known as Arts Therapy, has roots that date back to the 1940’s. Before then, it was not defined as a practice, but art has been considered a medium for self-expression since cave drawings were discovered from 40,000 years ago in Cantabria, Spain. The practices tap into other fields, such as positive psychology, communication, self-awareness and most importantly self-confidence and creativity.

Nowadays, we are discovering new ways to use art in forms not limited to the classic pencil and paper. Expressive Therapy can be practiced through traditional art (painting, drawing, sculpting), dancing/singing and music, photography, journaling, and other activities. This blog will aim at helping readers to narrow the field to know what’s the best process to start with.

It should also be noted that Expressive Therapy is rooted in England, UK and has recently been brought over the ocean to the United States. We will learn more about this historical process and specifically, how it has spread throughout Boston.

Expressive Therapy can be more affordable and accessible than traditional psychiatric therapy. Activities can be conducted privately or in groups and even self-taught at home, which gives the option to make it more comfortable and financially acceptable. This will be explained in more details such as why more patients, even patients with serious medical conditions, are moving towards these alternative therapies. Additionally we will touch upon art therapy as a movement and how this field is seen as a creative approach to psychiatric care and health in general.