A drawing made during an art therapy workshop in Beirut, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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An increasing number of Lebanese are interested in art therapy, practitioners say, which has raised some concerns that without proper training and regulation of therapists could lead to more harm than good.Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that employs visual media – be it drawing, painting or the use of clay and sand – as a form of expression and a base from which one can explore difficulties, thoughts and emotions.In Lebanon there is no law prohibiting anyone from calling themselves an art therapist or psychotherapist, Toutikia explained.U.S.-educated art therapist Myra Saad, the founder of her own art therapy center – Artichoke Studio in Hamra – said this was a serious problem for the field.Toutikia currently works with social enterprise Ioi Strategic Design And Consulting, helping Syrian refugee girls learn digital design skills in the Bekaa Valley and includes some art therapy in her sessions.Art therapy can be particularly useful when working with children who have experienced traumatic events, but the therapy form is by no means restricted to children.
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