Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Venturing into Art Therapy Practices: "The Art Therapy Sourcebook" by Cathy A. Malchiodi

Reading through Cathy A. Malchiodi's "The Art Therapy Sourcebook" has presented a wealth of information to further research. What is interesting to me is the mention of Sigmund Freud's and Carl Jung's  techniques, which I explored during my 2 Years at NUCA.

Malchiodi has also introduced Hans Prinzhorn's spontaneous artworks with the Mentally Ill.

So far I have understood, there are two approaches to art therapy, the directive approach and the non-directive approach. They are fairly straightforward, in that a directive approach is directed with a theme, such as directing the client to "draw your family". Whilst the non-directive approach provides more freedom to the client to produce whatever they're feeling or desire to produce. The chosen approach differs with the clients needs and the outcomes of the therapy. When partaking in art therapy techniques with Sean, I chose to be non-directive as I felt Sean would respond more to the freedom of expression. However, as the therapy progresses, the therapy can take on a directive approach. Determining the amount of time to allocate to a certain approach requires more research but I feel I will have to take on the non-directive approach once more with Sean and then when deemed suitable, provide some form of direction, such as "paint Hurricane Ivan, paint our family, draw what you remember from Jamaica...etc".

Margaret Naumberg used the technique of scribble drawing to encourage spontaneous imagery and therefore draw on the clients unconscious. Her sister, Florence Cane used similar scribble techniques as she felt spontaneous expression encouraged free association and revealed unconscious fantasies and thoughts.

Interestingly, Donald Winnicott devised the "squiggle game" where by working collaboratively, both therapist and child/client would attempt to complete each others squiggle lines into an image. This technique is most involving and interactive for both therapist and client. However, the client would most likely have to be an open participant and most likely by a child.

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