Gender Issues in Art Therapy

Gender Issues in Art Therapy

Gender Issues in Art Therapy

Gender Issues in Art Therapy

Synopsis

This work covers both theoretical and practical topics in art therapy, giving clinical examples and instances of clients' artwork to illustrate their arguments.

Excerpt

While reading the manuscript for this inspiring book, I was reminded of an incident which took place several years ago whilst I was organising student art therapy placements. I had been approached by a consultant physician from a well-known hospital in London for an art therapy placement with terminally ill clients. This being a particularly specialised and challenging area of work, I carefully consulted and asked for expressions of interest from students with relevant work and life experience. A well-qualified person asked to be considered, a man in his early 40s. I arranged a meeting with the consultant and the student through the consultant's secretary. On the morning following the meeting, the consultant phoned me, quite angrily, saying: 'I thought you'd be sending a woman!' Taken aback, I replied: 'I have sent you the best qualified person–is there a problem? Art therapists are also men!' He retorted that 'his ladies' would not want a man…'it would not go down well'. I am not sure if the clients, or the staff, had been asked, and if this was indeed their sentiment, but in any case exploration of the matter was impossible and I did not feel inclined to take the placement idea further at that time. I felt dismayed– and so did the male student–at such summary rejection on the basis of gender. Apparently the consultant was unwilling to countenance a male student, and had not wished to enter into discussion with him, so that had to be accepted. But I suppose it should not have come as such a surprise, because the 'caring professions', of which therapy is one, are composed mainly of women. However, they may be female dominated in terms of the workforce but have not until recently, with a few exceptions, been female managed nor led.

Art therapy in the UK is composed of roughly 70 per cent women and 30 per cent men, creeping up to 90 per cent women elsewhere and in some southern European countries, to 95 per cent women. This means that the majority of male and female clients will receive art therapy from a . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.