Art Heals: How Creativity Cures the Soul

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Shambhala Publications, Nov 16, 2004 - Literary Collections - 256 pages
The field of art therapy is discovering that artistic expression can be a powerful means of personal transformation and emotional and spiritual healing. In this book, Shaun McNiff, a leader in expressive arts therapy for more than three decades, reflects on a wide spectrum of activities aimed at reviving art's traditional healing function. In chapters ranging from "Liberating Creativity" and "The Practice of Creativity in the Workplace" to "From Shamanism to Art Therapy," he illuminates some of the most progressive views in the rapidly expanding field of art therapy:

   •  The "practice of imagination" as a powerful force for transformation
   •  A challenge to literal-minded psychological interpretations of artworks ("black colors indicate depression") and the principle that even disturbing images have inherent healing properties
   •  The role of the therapist in promoting an environment conducive to free expression and therapeutic energies
   •  The healing effects of group work, with people creating alongside one another and interacting in the studio
   •  "Total expression," combining arts such as movement, storytelling, and drumming with painting and drawing
 

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Contents

Liberating Creativity
3
ART IS SOULS MEDICINE
9
The Creative Space
15
Letting Go in a Safe Place
28
Embracing Upheaval
31
The Early Work 19701974 Anthony Bernice and Chirstopher
34
The Art Therapist as Artist
52
Aesthetic Meditation
55
CONNECTIONS TO SHAMANISM
181
From Shamanism to Art Therapy
183
The Shaman as Archetypal Figure
194
The Shaman Within
200
REFLECTIONS ON THE SOURCE
209
The Basis of Energy
211
The Healing Powers of Imagination
221
Surrender to the Rhythm
230

OPENING TO IMAGES AND MEDIA
69
The Interpretation of Imagery
75
Treating Images as Persons and Dialoguing with Them
82
The Challenge of Disturbing Images
96
Images as Angels
100
Angels of the Wound
112
Artistic Auras and Their Medicines
121
The Effects of Different Kinds of Art Experiences
137
TOTAL EXPRESSION
147
Pandoras Gifts Using All of the Arts in Healing
151
A Pantheon of Creative Arts Therapies
163
Working with Everything We Have
168
A Review of Jung on Active Imagination
171
USING NEW MEDIA TO EXPAND CREATIVE EXPRESSION
239
Video Enactment in the Expressive Therapies
243
A Virtual Studio
255
ART HEALING IS FOR EVERYONE
263
Art Therapy Is a Big Idea
267
An Inclusive Vision of Art Therapy A Spectrum of Partnerships
271
The Way of Empathy The Practice of Creativity in the Workplace
283
The Test of Time
290
Sources and Credits
295
Selected Publications
299
Index
307
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Shaun McNiff is internationally recognized as a founder and leading figure in the arts and healing field. University Professor at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he is past president of the American Art Therapy Association and the author of several other books including Art As Medicine, Trust the Process, and Creating with Others.

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