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Art Therapy with Physical Conditions

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As the emotional components of physical illnesses become more recognised, there is a renewed interest in the potential of art therapy to help patients come to terms with injury, pain and terminal and life-long conditions.

A wide range of experienced art therapists describe their work and its benefits to a variety of groups including those with cancer, debilitating conditions such as myalgic encephalopathy (M.E.) and ulcerative colitis. Physical conditions in combination with other factors such as homelessness or learning disabilities, and children with life-long and chronic conditions are also covered. The book includes discussion of spiritual and philosophical issues when mortality is faced, life change and adjustment issues, practical considerations and which models of practice art therapists find most helpful with various groups.

This will be essential reading for arts therapists and students, as well as for professionals with an interest in psychological issues and wellbeing for patients with physical illness or long term conditions, such as psychotherapists and counsellors, complementary therapists, doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.
  • Published: May 21 2015
  • Pages: 320
  • 229 x 156mm
  • ISBN: 9781849053495
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Press Reviews

  • Hilary Curwen, Retired Art Psychotherapist

    A very broad ranging discussion of the subject and, as promised in the preface, going far beyond the known areas that art therapy is usually associated with.
  • Chris Wood, author of Navigating Art Therapy, team leader of Art Therapy Courses Northern Programme UK and Honorary Research Fellow with the University of Sheffield

    In The Illness Narratives the thoughtful American medic Arthur Kleinman wrote: 'Acting like a sponge illness soaks up personal and social significance from the world of the sick person' (1988:31). It is often in response to such experiences that the work of art therapy can be understood. This book is valuable in the way it gives voice to people with physical conditions who make art and meet with art therapists. Many different approaches to art therapy are described and offered as a way of contributing to the recovery of a person's energy and sense of significance.
  • Judith A. Rubin, PhD, licensed psychologist, psychoanalyst, art therapist, author, faculty member of Psychiatry Department of the University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center

    This book is not only extremely timely; it is also very well written, edited, and full of vivid illustrations. I am truly delighted to be able to recommend it to art therapists on both sides of the pond. Interest in this area is growing rapidly, as our recognition of the intimate relationship between psyche and soma is at last leading to the provision of creative avenues of expression for those living through bodily traumas over which they have little control, but with which they must cope.
  • Cathy Ward, Art Therapist and EMDR practitioner with children and families

    This book opens the door on the inspiring lives of people with physical conditions in the success driven 'able-bodied' world. It charts powerful and profound stories of people's pain and resilience and of how art therapy again and again facilitates a process of recovery and reconciliation for those who may be facing the challenge of increasing vulnerability, loss of independence or death. An important and enlightening book.
  • Rosemary Strange, independent nurse consultant, Nursing Standard

    This book contains powerful stories from a diverse collection of people who have benefited from art therapy with experienced art therapists. Intended as a companion to Art Therapy with Neurological Conditions, it is well written, detailed, well researched and has many vivid illustrations.