Art, Psychotherapy, and Psychosis

Art, Psychotherapy, and Psychosis

Art, Psychotherapy, and Psychosis

Art, Psychotherapy, and Psychosis


Art, Psychotherapy and Psychosis defines the unique role of art therapy in the treatment of psychosis. Using clinical material and examples of clients' work, experienced practitioners describe working with patients in a variety of settings. Writing from different theoretical standpoints, they reflect the current diversity within the profession and its origins in psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, Jungian psychology and psychiatry.

The volume explores issues involved in working with psychosis, examining the problem of symbolization, the nature and meaning of art made by psychotic patients and the relationship between words and pictures. The contributors also present art therapy's historical context, tracing its development in psychiatric and psychotherapeutic settings to its new position in the community.


Joy Schaverien and Katherine Killick

This book traces the theoretical developments and the history of art therapy in the treatment of psychosis. It is intended for an international readership and for all those who are concerned with psychotherapeutic approaches to this client group. We are aware of increasing interest in this subject from within the profession of art therapy and allied professions. Experienced art therapists, as well as trainees, often work with this client group and psychiatrists and psychotherapists who are involved with the treatment of psychosis are increasingly recognising the particular contribution of art therapy. Therefore, this book is addressed to a potentially wide readership: to art therapists, art therapy students and those considering art therapy training; as well as to psychiatrists, psychotherapists, psychoanalysts and Jungian analysts. It is also intended to be relevant to professionals working in the fields of counselling, social work, occupational therapy and nursing.


The aim of the book is to offer an understanding of art therapy as a psychotherapeutic approach to patients in psychotic states and patients with a history of psychosis. The material presented comes from work with adults. Although it does not include children or adults with learning difficulties, the book will be of interest to those who work with these client groups. Art therapy with psychotic patients has developed within the wider context of psychiatry and inevitably the changes that have taken place in recent years within the British National Health Service have had an influence on clinical practice. These are reflected directly and indirectly in all the chapters in the book and we are aware that similar, if not identical, issues concern therapists working in many countries. The development of current theoretical approaches to clinical practice, in this specialised area, is traced and can be seen to be intimately related to the growth of art therapy as a profession. The influence of psychoanalytic thinking as well as aesthetic theory is apparent throughout. The book is arranged in two sections: Part I, Art, Psychotherapy and Psychosis and Part II, Context and History. This arrangement is intended

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