Art Therapy: A Handbook

Art Therapy: A Handbook

Art Therapy: A Handbook

Art Therapy: A Handbook

Synopsis

Presents new ideas in the theory and practice of art therapy, incorporating them into more established art therapy and pointing to future developments. The book concludes with an examination of the training of art therapists and a look at the future direction of research in the field.

Excerpt

When we began our task, in 1989, the aim was to produce a book which gave a broad oudine of the current theory and practice of the profession of art therapy in Britain today. Our audience was to be the general reader, one who might be familiar with either art or with psychiatry but who knew litde of art therapy per se. We therefore asked our contributors to review the pre-existing art therapy literature and describe, in general terms, art therapy practice in their area and to follow this with description of their particular approach, illustrated with a case-study.

When the first drafts arrived we began to realize that something differing from other books oriented towards the general reader was in the making. In reviewing the literature authors had commented on the variety of art therapy theories and clinical approaches in their field (for example, Robin Tipple, Michael Donnelly) and described their practice as based in existing theory but modified by the realities of their own clinical work. Some were critical of the art therapy literature and a few pointed out an apparent, or perhaps potential, Anglo-American divide (Jacky Mahony and Diane Waller, Andrea Gilroy). It seemed to us that authors were alluding to much in their observations that was new and so we encouraged them to emphasize personal points of view and to develop and present new ideas.

That the book and its chapters have changed so much during the period of writing and editing is indicative of the current period of considerable change that the profession is going through. The contextual chapters on professional issues, training and research (by Joan Woddis, Diane Waller and Andrea Gilroy respectively) had to be re-written and up-dated several times in order to keep abreast of events. Since this book began Art Therapists have applied to, and been accepted by, the Council for the Professions Supplementary to Medicine (CPSM) for state registration; the National Joint Council has recognized the post-graduate Art Therapy Diploma as an approved qualification; the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT) has now approved, and the training institutions are now planning, two-year post-graduate courses; and there have been two Arts Therapies Research conferences. These are important developments for art therapy as a whole, as work in the community becomes harsh reality and the pressure to . . .

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