The Expressive Body in Life, Art, and Therapy: Working with Movement, Metaphor, and Meaning

The Expressive Body in Life, Art, and Therapy: Working with Movement, Metaphor, and Meaning

The Expressive Body in Life, Art, and Therapy: Working with Movement, Metaphor, and Meaning

The Expressive Body in Life, Art, and Therapy: Working with Movement, Metaphor, and Meaning

Synopsis

"Drawing on her extensive experience in expressive arts therapy, Daria Halprin presents a unique approach to healing through movement and art. She describes the body as the container of one's entire life experience and movement as a language that expresses and reveals our deepest struggles and creative potentials. Interweaving artistic and psychological processes, she offers a philosophy and methodology that invites the reader to consider the transformational capacity of the arts. In this essential resource for anyone interested in the integration of psychotherapy and the arts, Halprin also presents case studies and a selection of exercises that she has evolved over her career and practised at the Tamalpa Institute for over twenty-five years." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

I have known Daria Halprin for many years and have watched with appreciation as her pioneering work at Tamalpa Institute and other institutions in Europe and the United States, including our program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), has grown and matured. We are both working in the field of expressive arts therapy, traveling on bridges between life and art in close proximity here in the San Francisco Bay Area. But in reading this book I realize that something new is happening. This book is not only about Daria Halprin’s particular approach, it is also a testimony to the fact that the field of expressive arts therapy is coming of age.

One of the key defining characteristics of expressive arts therapy is the integration of multimodal arts processes with psychotherapy. As each practitioner draws from the palette of all of the arts–visual arts, music, drama, dance-movement, poetry and literary arts–there are naturally many different emphases on different arts modalities, different ways of combining them, different orientations to psychology and psychotherapy, and various personal styles of working. In the past twenty-five years this has led to a number of developed, equally valid approaches. Daria Halprin defines her work in this context. In this book she presents a rich, in-depth study of her approach to movement-based expressive arts therapy.

A constructive criticism of this type of therapy as an emerging field is that there is a lack of theory, of a developed historical and theoretical base of operations. This claim cannot be made about the approach presented here. The first third of the book is a provocative and thorough study of the antecedents, context, history, and theory of this movement-centered approach. From the shamanic ancient roots to psychology, somatic psychology, the arts, dance, social-historical movements, creativity theory, psychotherapy, new paradigms in science–all are explored as the historical, theoretical and methodological foundations of this approach. While . . .

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