Introduction to Art Therapy: Sources and Resources

Introduction to Art Therapy: Sources and Resources

Introduction to Art Therapy: Sources and Resources

Introduction to Art Therapy: Sources and Resources


Introduction to Art Therapy: Sources and Resources,is the thoroughly updated and revised second edition of Judith Rubin's landmark 1999 text, the first to describe the history of art in both assessment and therapy, and to clarify the differences between artists or teachers who provide "therapeutic" art activities, psychologists or social workers who request drawings, and those who are trained as art therapists to do a kind of work which is similar, but qualitatively different. This new edition contains a DVD-ROM with over 400 still images and 250 edited video clips for much richer illustration than is possible with figures alo≠ an additional chapter describing the work that art therapists do; and new material on education with updated information on standards, ethics, and informing others. To further make the information accessible to practitioners, students, and teachers, the author has included a section on treatment planning and evaluation, an updated list of resources - selected professional associations and proceedings - references, expanded citations, and clinical vignettes and illustrations. Three key chapters describe and expand the work that art therapists do: "People We Help," deals with all ages; "Problems We Treat," focuses on different disorders and disabilities; and "Places We Practice," reflects the expansion of art therapy beyond its original home in psychiatry. The author's own introduction to the therapeutic power of art - as a person, a worker, and a parent - will resonate with both experienced and novice readers alike. Most importantly, however, this book provides a definition of art therapy that contains its history, diversity, challenges, and accomplishments.


Art as a helper in times of trouble, as a means of understanding the conditions of human
existence and of facing the frightening aspects of those conditions, as the creation of a
meaningful order offering a refuge from the unmanageable confusion of outer reality
these most welcome aids are grasped by people in distress and used by the healers who
come to their assistance.

Rudolf Arnheim

Map of the Territory

This second edition of a book written a decade ago reflects my wish to bring its contents up to date in a field that continues to grow at an amazingly rapid rate. This growth is reflected most dramatically in two areas that were beginning to be apparent when the first edition was finished in 1997, but are increasingly evident a decade later.

The first is an exponential increase in the literature, reflected in the number of books cited in the References, almost twice those noted only ten years ago. Increasingly specialized, they are often edited or written by multiple authors, indicating an awareness of the complexity of the particular knowledge and skills required to conduct art therapy with different sorts of individuals in diverse settings. This is true whether the content to be mastered is the nature of particular disorders, the cultures within which practitioners work, or the latest developments in attachment theory, neurobiological development, and ways of reconceptualizing therapeutic paradigms (Jones, 2005; Riley, 1999, 2001). The literature also reflects a growing level of sophistication about both psychology and art (Maclagan, 2001), and a thoughtfulness not always apparent in the past. It has become more profound, at the same time more poetic, and, paradoxically, more pragmatic.

The second is an awareness and acceptance of the idea of art therapy in mental and physical health care, as well as in the culture at large. As with psychoanalysis, whose concepts have permeated our society, there is often considerable misunderstanding. While the pervasiveness of the notion that art can be healing is a testament to the success of the profession embodying this idea, it has also created confusion because of the different kinds of people who offer therapeutic arts activities.

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