Book Reviews -- Group Interactive Art Therapy by Diane Waller

Article excerpt

DIANE WALLER: Group Interactive Art Therapy. Routledge, London, 1993, 165 pp., $59.95 cloth, $18.95 paper.

Group Interactive Art Therapy is a must read for art therapists or any therapist who is interested in the potential benefits derived from this process. The book is easy to read, well organized, comprehensive, and well researched. It offers an exceptional conceptual and theoretical framework and integrates the author's views, relevant literature, and case histories in a meaningful way. Illustrations, in black-and-white as well as color, are presented to highlight material and quite appropriately to visually demonstrate the results of the process. Waller asks and provides answers to many questions that the reader wants to ask. She is open about her successes as well as sharing the experiences that were particularly challenging. This openness and vulnerability creates a warmth that draws in the reader. There is a sensitivity and awareness to cultural aspects both societally and group culture. This is demonstrated clearly in many examples, particularly in Eastern European cultures where she held many group sessions. Waller provides an informative discussion on the comparison of interactional and analytical models. She gives a thorough discussion of the role of the therapist in the different models. Early in the book she discusses historical developments in art therapy highlighting the development of "parallel stands: art as therapy and art psychotherapy" and the continuing "lively debate as to the true essence of art therapy. …