Psychological Aesthetics: Painting, Feeling, and Making Sense

By David Maclagan | Go to book overview

Chapter Six
Art Therapy and the Therapy of Art

The psychological mechanisms from which artistic creation proceeds are, it
seems to me, such that we should either classify them once and for all in the
domain of the pathological, and consider the artist in every case as a
psychopath, or else widen our conception of what is healthy and normal, and
push its limit so far back that the whole of madness can find a place therein.
(Dubuffet 1951)

Most of what I have written so far about the psychological aspects of aesthetics deals with works of art that have not been specifically addressed to any therapeutic situation. Such a situation is one in which works of art are viewed from a particular psychological perspective which is narrower, deeper and more specialised than what I have so far included under the heading of ‘psychological’. In classical psychoanalysis this involved the enlisting of already created works as evidence for its new theories about unconscious processes. In most cases this evidence was historical, and the artist in question was dead, so that the application of psychotherapeutic concepts to their work was a largely theoretical enterprise. In art therapy, artworks are created specifically for a therapeutic context in which these processes are of more actual importance. In Freud’s writings about art its psychoaesthetic qualities are invoked as a support for psychoanalytic theory; in art therapy these qualities are attended to in order to understand and help the patient. Nevertheless, it could be argued that in both instances there are factors that give a special focus and perspective to the understanding of art. Some of these are internal, in that they are part of the professional slant of psychotherapy: for example, models of the dynamics of unconscious processes and of the nature of the therapeutic relationship. Others are external, for example, to do with expectations of healing or the demands of mental health service provision.

-81-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Psychological Aesthetics: Painting, Feeling, and Making Sense
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 157

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.