An Immersive Art Therapy Experience in Virtual Reality: TheraPour Mannequins

SEP 7, 2022

When finding a healthy outlet to express emotions and release past trauma, we all have a preferred method that initiates healing. Some choose physical outlets such as exercise, while others prefer various forms of traditional therapy such as behaviour, cognitive, or psychotherapy in clinical settings. But what if there was a method that meshed the artistic expression of the mind and body movements and applied psychological theory and cognitive functions?

The gift of art offers inspiration, creativity and beauty. It allows artists to express themselves through their work and empower others to embrace their aesthetics.
Art has always been a potent tool for emotional expression and restoration. This is why Art Therapy has become a legitimate method for therapeutic healing for the mind, body and soul.

TheraPour Mannequins

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Lorem IpsumFacia si cuptas et aut eum voluptasitem sum in et labore sit quatquia et Icitat dude.

What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy is an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship.
In simpler terms…
This form of therapy incorporates artistic techniques with a professional art therapist’s personal and relational treatment goals.

What are the benefits of Art Therapy?
Art Therapy fosters self-esteem, self-expression and self-awareness, cultivates emotional resilience, promotes insight, enhances social skills, reduces and resolves conflicts and distress, and advances societal and ecological change.

Some conditions that art therapy may be used to treat include:

  • Anxiety
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Emotional difficulties
  • Family or relationship problems
  • Medical conditions
  • Psychological symptoms associated with other medical issues
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Psychosocial issues
  • Stress
  • Substance use disorder9

Some situations in which art therapy might be utilized include:

  • Family or relationship problems
  • Adults experiencing severe stress
  • Children experiencing behavioural or social problems at school or at home
  • Children or adults who have experienced a traumatic event
  • Children with learning disabilities
  • Individuals living with a brain injury
  • People undergoing mental health problems

In studies of adults who experienced trauma, creative arts therapy was found to reduce trauma symptoms and decrease levels of depression significantly.

One review of the effectiveness of art therapy found that this technique helped patients undergoing medical cancer treatment improve their quality of life and alleviate various psychological symptoms.

Another study found that art therapy reduced depression and increased self-esteem in older adults living in nursing homes.
Now you may be wondering… Where can I go to try this innovative therapy?

Well… look no further!!
RetreatVR has partnered with talented artist Leila Parnian to create the first VR Art Therapy Course. Leila is the founder of TheraPour ®, a technique used to create paintings by pouring paint over a canvas versus applying paint with a paintbrush.

“TheraPour is a combination of Fluid Art which started in the 1930s, combined with guided word therapy. I am using a combination of TheraPour plus spray paint on a mannequin to create this course in the virtual environment,” Parnian explains. “I want to help people heal their pain through art as I did mine. I’m thankful to have the ability [through VR environment] to help as many people as possible worldwide, which is physically impossible to do in person.”

Ready to get started? Here are three things to keep in mind:
You Don’t Have to Be Artistic

People do not need to have artistic ability or unique talent to participate in art therapy, and people of all ages, including children, teens, and adults, can benefit from it. In addition, some research suggests that just the presence of art can boost mental healthcare in the real world.

Embrace Creativity
VR can be very beneficial to exposure therapy in clinical practices. Throughout neuroscience research, many health professionals have found the principles of art therapy in virtual reality and augmented reality provide people with a sense of presence in immersive environments.
The benefit of TheraPour in VR is that you do not have to invest in the materials or have ample space to make a mess. And believe me when I say TheraPour is VERY messy! This course allows you to expand your creative boundaries and create as many TheraPour Mannequins as you would like, as uniquely as you would like.

Ready, Set, GOAL!
This course aims to create a safe virtual space for people to try art therapy and hopefully heal some of their pain and trauma. This course is for anyone with a curious mind and playful heart, open to learning new techniques and taking a step to healing their trauma. In addition, people are encouraged to share their VR experience in digital art therapy with those looking for well-being relationships.

Disclaimer: even though this course is fun, don’t have your oculus headset mounted on your head. Retreat courses are divided into different sections without a conflict of interest. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to take a break once in a while and follow the course guidelines as indicated.





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