As art therapists provide this clinical care, researchers from NYU Tandon’s Creating Connections team – led by Berberian – are in the process of designing a software to measure the participants’ motion fluidity and collect psychological and emotional reports each session. At the end of the residency, students from NYU Steinhardt’s Arts Administration program will curate an exhibit to amplify the artwork – and the clinical results – to the medical community.
Ultimately, Berberian emphasizes, the core of art therapy is an understanding that art is a vital part of health and wellbeing, and seeking to extend art as a resource for those who can benefit from it.
“Many of our students feel a strong call to provide compassionate and responsive care, and that’s what drives them to our program,” she said. “It’s our role to give them the science and the tools to do that well, and to make sure their interventions are ultimately successful.”
Based on past success, the Graduate Art Therapy program has expanded programming at the Rubin Museum, offering free art therapy sessions for the public.
The Parachute Project, initiated by the art therapy program, is a contribution to the global effort called for by UNICEF to understand the impact of the pandemic on children and adolescents.
This groundbreaking, innovative study is the first paper exploring the effects of art therapy on Parkinson's Disease in a medical peer-reviewed journal utilizing clinical, behavioral, eye tracking, and brain connectivity outcomes.