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Transcript of Art Psychotherapy
The Triangular Relationship
Change and Transformation
A window of opportunity
"Art is a record of emotion in the experiences of making and in the imagination of its creator" (Trevarthen, 1995)
Integrating the fragmented state
Mess, chaos and boundaries
Keeping things safe
Linking the pre-verbal with the verbal
Mess may be a valuable tool for the art therapist, tracing the experience of abuse back to infant life and enabling pre-verbal memory to be accessed" (O'Brien, 2009)
"it is by the introjection of the ability to contain and transform projected material that we learn to 'think'"
Trauma, art psychotherapy and the brain
Who do art psychotherapists see?
Hard to reach clients
People who find verbal communication difficult, such as children and young people and adults with learning difficulties.
Children, adolescents and adults who have experienced early and/or developmental trauma
CORE (Clinical Outcomes Research and Evaluation) designed to be carried out before and after the intervention
Thematic analysis of process notes
Visual analysis of artwork produced
Psychometrics (TSCC, SDQ etc.)
The artwork created is testimony to change and progression
Diagnostic Drawing Series (DDS)
Levick Emotional and Cognitive art therapy assessment
Art making activates the brain stem
The brain stem controls heart rate, body temperature and other survival related functions. It also stores anxiety or arousal states associated with a traumatic event.
"Experience, emotion, trauma and relationship reside in the right hemisphere and are processed there before having words attached to become memory" (Edwards, 1979)
Visual memory of trauma
A window of opportunity
"When a young tree is injured it grows around that injury. As the tree continues to develop the wound becomes relatively small in proportion to the size of the tree. Gnarls, burls and misshapen limbs speak of injuries and obstacles encountered through time and overcome. The way a tree grows around its past contributes to its exquisite individuality, character and beauty. I certainly don't advocate traumatization to build character, but since trauma is almost a given at some point in our lives, the image of a tree can be a valuable mirror" Levine, 2009)