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Expressive Arts Therapy: Adding to the Person-Centred Approach.

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Georgina Beadon

on 1 July 2011

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Transcript of Expressive Arts Therapy: Adding to the Person-Centred Approach.

The history of art therapy 1876 and 1888: Paul-Max Simon- French Psychiatrist-
'Father of Art and Psychiatry'- one of the first to collect
art by mentally ill patients and published on his beliefs
that patient's symptoms could be understood through their
art. 1920's: Hans Prinzhorn, art historian turned psychiatrist,
collected over 5,000 art works from 500 patients all over Europe and was interested not in the patient's pathology but what he perceived to be the inherent need for humanity to express itself visually. 1899: Freud developed; 'The Interpretation of Dreams' where
he observed that patients could not always explain their dreams
but could sometimes draw them. Prinzhorn postulated that creativity is key to achieving psychological integration. 1901: Marcel Reja- French Psychiatrist- First acknowledged
a similarity between the art of the mentally ill and that of primitive peoples and children. 1912: Emil kraepelin and karl jaspers- European psychiatrists-observed that art created by their clients could help them to understand the client's 'pathology'. JUNG: FELT THAT DREAMS, STORIES AND MEMORIES COULD BRING FORTH IMAGES HELD
IN THE UNCONSCIOUS WHICH, IF THEY STAYED THERE UNRECOGNISED, COULD HAVE A DETRIMENTAL AFFECT ON BEHAVIOUR. Kramer: Believed that the healing power of
art stems from its ability to activate certain
psychological processes- new attitudes and
feelings can be tried out. 1950's: Art and other arts therapies (music/drama/movement/poetry) started to be used alongside 'talking' therapies. Jung was interested in the uses of art
as expression, particularly the mandala
or 'Magic circle'. 1940's: Naumburg created art therapy as a separate
entity. "Art can be said to be- and can be used as-
the externalized map of our interior self"
- Peter London CATHY MALCHIODI The art therapy Sourcebook The difference between art
and how it is used therapeutically
is that the latter is 'drawn from within'
i.e. the focus is on what appears on the
inside rather than on drawing what we
find out in the world. "Therapy comes from the Greek word therapeia, which means "to be attentive to"". Pg 5. tHE THERAPIST IS ATTENTIVE TO THE CLIENT AND IS A GUIDE, THE CLIENT IS ATTENTIVE TO THE CREATIVE PROCESS: "...OF MAKING ART AND TO GIVING THE ART PRODUCT PERSONAL MEANING- THAT IS, FINDING A STORY, DESCRIPTION, OR MEANING FOR THE ART." pG 6. mALCHIODI BELIEVES THAT ART THERAPY CAN GIVE A RELEASE TO EXPERIENCES
THAT ARE TOO PAINFUL TO BE PUT INTO WORDS- lINKS WITH jUNG'S ORIGINAL THEORY. Gendlin believes the psychomotor skills involved in
using art as a tool in therapy directly links us with the
'felt sense' (phenomenological aspect) of experience
which, in turn, keeps the experience in the here and
now. Pg 14. Different roles of Art Therapy: 1 Catharsis "Catharsis literally means "cleansing" or "purging", in therapy it refers to the expression and discharge of strong emotions for relief." Pg 14. 2 "For example, it is known that creative activity can actually increase brain levels of serotonin, the chemical linked to depression". Pg 14 Relaxation! 3 Creating a Product: Taking a created product away allows a client to refer to something concrete at a
later date It allows a client to refer to concrete
changes, patterns, feelings and thoughts. Richard Bergland (1985): "You have two brains: a left and a right. mODERN BRAIN SCIENTISTS NOW KNOW THAT YOUR LEFT BRAIN IS YOUR VERBAL AND RATIONAL BRAIN; IT THINKS SERIALLY AND REDUCES ITS THOUGHTS TO NUMBERS, LETTERS, AND WORDS... "yOUR RIGHT BRAIN; IT THINKS IN PATTERNS, OR PICTURES, COMPOSED OF 'WHOLE THINGS', AND DOES NOT COMPREHEND REDUCTIONS, EITHER NUMBERS, LETTERS OR WORDS." 'Modern society discriminates against the right hemisphere'- Sperry pg. 209 "In education, science and the workplace, academic knowing, rather than intuitive knowing, is favoured as a selection criteria, a value judgment... Liesl
Silverstone: "In therapy, a microcosm of society- it can happen that by 'talking about', the client can stay in his/her left side of the brain... "...and not connect with the repressed material on the right side of the brain- the very material needed for integration." Pg 4 By acknowledging the importance of the right side of the brain in a therapeutic setting, the therapist gives value to our otherwise undervalued brain which, in turn gives value to the WHOLE person. Linked to research conducted by Roger Sperry (1973): Abraham maslow Saw creativity as the behaviour
of those that are 'actualising'. "...it appeared that an essential aspect of Self Actualising creativeness was a special kind of perceptiveness that is exemplified by the child in the fable who saw that the king had no clothes on...Consequently, they live far more in the real world of nature than in the verbalised world of concepts, abstractions, expectations, beliefs and stereotypes that most people confuse with the real world...This is well expressed in Rogers' phrase "openness to experience" [On Becoming a Person]." Pg 137 Why is creativity important? A B Art Therapy Natalie Rogers Art Therapy and the PCA "Humanistic expressive arts therapy differs from the analytic or medical model of art therapy, in which art is used to diagnose, analyze, and "treat" people." Pg 2. Links back to Sperry... Natalie Rogers: "Since emotional states are seldom logical, the use of imagery and non-verbal modes allows the client an alternative path for self-exploration and communication." Pg 3. Creative Connection Different forms of expressive arts are used together, for example: dancing a drawing that's been completed or writing about a piece of movement. This allows for further integration as lots of forms of expression are released. Carl's thoughts on all this... from: 'on becoming a person': "...the mainspring of creativity appears to be the same tendancy which we discover so deeply as the curative force in psychotherapy- man's tendancy to actualize himself, to become his potentialities." Pg 351 Links with Maslow Carl Rogers Speech is a form of symbolisation. Art, movement etc. are just other forms of symbolisation. due to our possible prejudices about the right side of the brain, we do not value these forms as much as we value talking. Natalie found her father's approach to be missing something: "What I found lacking as I worked with my father were stimulating experiences that would motivate and allow people time and space to engage in the creative process. We can sit and talk about being creative but never involve ourselves in the process." Pg 17. What do other PCA practitioners
have to say about art in therapy? Pete Sanders: In the tribes book Pete mentions the
tension between the suggestion of art
therapy to a client and our priniciple
of non-directivity. The socio-political aspect: This could be construed as reflecting
our society's norm of being directed by
government and media to further
disempower us in choice and freedom. I believe that to enter into any therapy has direction of a sort; there is a presupposition in therapy that you will talk about your emotions, your activities etc. to the therapist; that this is what you are there to do. If a therapist is open from the start that the client can chose to use other forms of expression in sessions then a client can make an informed choice as to whether they wish to use what is available to them. Although a suggestible client may feel directed to use artistic methods, a suggestible client in purely verbal therapy may feel pressured to talk when they do not wish to as well. I believe it is better to give the client an option to integrate and explore their creative side in therapy, to break from the status quo of the Western world and the view that this side of our being has no value. If the client is offered this form of expression from the very start and if it is explained that the tools are there if they wish to use them but that the session is their time and can be used however they wish, then I do not believe the client needs to feel coerced into using these forms of therapy. This introduction to a different form of expression is, I believe, non-directive. There's a difference between the way the art is interpreted that also ensures the autonomy of client, it's not like it was with the analysts of old... Naumburg: Was a psychodynamic freudian that used methods like
Free Association to enable clients to attribute meaning
to their creations and dreams. However, as she was a freudian the meaning would always
encompass the main tenets of psychodynamic theory, ruling
out the client's interpretation to some extent. Active Imagination: Jungian theory: 'a sequence of fantasies
produced by deliberate concentration' on
an image. Pg 223. Clients should 'enter into' a mental
image to understand it. Jung thought
that This taps into the collective
unconscious and the myths and heritage
(and architypes) hidden there. PCA APPROACH TO EXPRESSIVE ARTS THERAPY: tHE CLIENT FORMS THE MEANING OF THE EXPRESSION,
JUST AS THEY WOULD IN ANY TALKING THERAPY nATALIE: "kNOWING THAT YOU ARE OFFERING YOUR CLIENT AN
OPPORTUNITY, RATHER THAN INSISTING ON A METHOD, HELPS
YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE AS A FACILITATOR. gIVING THE CLIENT
THE OPTION TO ACCEPT OR REJECT EXPRESSIVE ARTS AS A MODE
OF EXPRESSION ENHANCES HER SENSE OF SAFETY AND AIDS IN
ESTABLISHING A FACILITATIVE RELATIONSHIP." pG 13 aS rogers says in 'Becoming a person':

"From the vary nature of the inner conditions
of creativity it is clear that they cannot be
forced but must be permitted to emerge". Natalie rogers postualtes 3
pre-requisites for fostering creativity: 1 "Psychological safety": A Accepting the individual as of
unconditional worth B Providing a climate in which external
evaluation is absent c Understanding empathtically 2 "Psychological freedom" "when a teacher, parent, therapist or other
facilitating person permits the individual a
complete freedom of symbolic expression,
creativity is fostered. This permissiveness
gives the individual complete freedom to think,
to feel, to be, whatever is most inward within
himself. It fosters the openness and the playful
and spontaneous juggling of percepts, concepts
and meanings, which is a part of creativity." Pg 14. 3 Offering stimulating and challenging
experiences My experience of art therapy: In conclusion: I believe art therapy to be a valuable and
necessary componant of the helping profession
and believe it can be delivered in a way that is
not in tension with the PCA but does, in fact,
create a more holistic and integrating type of
therapy. References:
- Malchiodi, C. (2007), The Art Therapy
Sourcebook, McGraw Hill.
- Silverstone, L. (1997), Art Therapy;
The Person-Centred Way, (2nd edn),
London, Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
- Sanders, P. (ed.) (2004), The Tribes of the Person-Centred Nation, (1st edn), Ross-on-Wye, PCCS BOOKS Ltd.
- Rogers, C. (2004), On Becoming a Person- A Therapist’s View of Psychotherapy, (10th edn), London, Constable.
- Rogers, N. (2000), The Creative Connection: Expressive Arts as Healing, PCCS Books.
- Allen, P. (1995), Art is a Way of Knowing, Boston and London, Shambhala.
- Maslow, A. (1968), Toward a Psychology of Being, (2nd edn), New York, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company.
- Bergland, R. (1985), The Fabric of the Mind in: Edwards, B. (2008), Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, Harper Collins Publishers.
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