Existential Art Therapy: The Canvas Mirror
A classic in art therapy literature since its introduction nearly two decades ago, this book is an expression of the author's desire to link the practice of art psychotherapy to the core issues of life as presented in existentialism. The inclusion of existential in this book's title denotes an interest in human struggle with issues of life in the face of death. The Canvas Mirror is the story of connections: the author's connections with his patients, their connections with each other, and, ultimately, the author's connections with the reader. We are provided in this book with a philosophy of how to be rather than a manual of what to do. The author shows us that it is possible to speak in plain language about the difficulties of therapists' patients if art therapists also speak to themselves in that same language. Unique features include: existential values and artistic traditions; metaphor, ritual, and journey; structuring chaos; existential emptiness and art; tenets of existential art therapy; the frame of The Canvas Mirror; listening to images and relating to artworks; dimensions of creative action; artists of the cutting edge; the changing face of illness; existential leadership and basic tasks; and dialoguing with dreams. Replete with numerous illustrations, this text will serve as a valuable resource to medical and mental health professionals, occupational therapists, artists, students and theorists of art, and rehabilitation professionals. The current state of mental health care, with short stays and a problem-focused approach, makes this book even more relevant today than when it was first published in 1990.
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