Dramatherapy, Di Gammage
In her book, Focus-Oriented Art Therapy, Laury Rappaport, whilst acknowledging how each discipline is a complete practice for self-awareness, growth and therapeutic change in its own right, eloquently shows how the Focusing method can be wedded to this expressive arts therapy to form a "rich, transformational alchemy" (p.16).I found the author's clear, personal and at times, gently passionate manner made the book not only person-centred but also extremely reader-centred. Rappaport invites the reader to engage with the material on a deeply experiential, embodied level, and there are bountiful rewards in store. Rappaport has written the book with several audiences in mind - professionals from each of the two disciplines wishing to integrate the other into their current practice and mental health and healing arts professionals who have an interest in both disciplines but are trained in neither one. An ambitious task, but one which, I believe, she achieves with intelligence and sensitivity. A rich and vivid tapestry of clients' images are woven throughout the book as we are taken on different journeys of healing. All the images are in black-and-white rather than colour which strangely enhanced their magic for me. I felt I was invited to imagine the tones and hues for myself. Rappaport's openness and generosity around her chosen art form resonated strongly for me; just because we are dramatherapists, or play therapists, or dance movement therapists, we do not have sole claim to these expressive media. Nor, as we discover, can Focusers assert exclusive possession of their approach. The spiritual essence permeates the writing throughout this book and I often found myself affected on many levels by its content. I also learnt a lot about art therapy and thoroughly appreciated the author's extensive knowledge and experience of her discipline (for instance, when not to invite clients to use their non-dominant hand in imagemaking) and the distinctions she makes between art therapy and art psychotherapy (prompting my thinking about dramatherapy and drama psychotherapy). Rappaport offers a very convincing argument for bringing Focusing and art therapy together and it would be easy to substitute dramatherapy in place of art therapy in the table on Interconnections (p.88, 90). Although this book is designed to be dipped in and out of, especially the exercises, I would really encourage a full reading of it. This is a gem of a book and I cannot recommend it highly enough. I am indebted to Dr Rappaport's for her wealth and generosity in the therapeutic field and I look forward to the forthcoming addition in the series, Focus-Oriented Dramatherapy.
British Association of Art Therapists
We have a duty to look beyond the psyche and reference the soma more often in therapeutic work. This book shows you a way to begin doing this.
Di Gammage, Dramatherapist
This is a gem of a book and I cannot recommend it highly enough. I am indebted to Dr Rappaport's for her wealth and generosity in the therapeutic field and I look forward to the forthcoming addition in the series, Focus-Orientated Dramatherapy.
Barbara F. Okun, PhD Northeastern University and Harvard Medical School
Focusing-Oriented Art Therapy by Laury Rappaport is brilliantly conceptualized and written and will be useful to any mental health worker. Integrating theory, practice and case examples, the author successfully achieves her goal of integrating art therapy with Focusing with application to a wide variety of clients and settings. Her exercises and case examples reveal her to be a gifted therapist and her writing affords her the opportunity to share her creative talent with others. A must read.
Shaun McNiff, University Professor, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA
Focusing-Oriented Art Therapy is a major contribution to art therapy literature and practice. Laury Rappaport introduces a contemplative method and philosophy grounded in the body's felt-sense of experience and its innate and largely unrecognized wisdom. This intellectually provocative, yet thoroughly practical text, establishes Rappaport as an emergent leader in the art therapy world and author of a book that every student and art therapist must read in order to appreciate the depth and breadth of our discipline.
Cathy A. Malchiodi, PhD, ATR-BC, LPCC, National Institute for Trauma and Loss
In a time the fields of neuroscience and somatic therapy increasingly inform therapeutic intervention, Laury Rappaport has written a book that is both timely and passionate in its message. As we continue to understand the relationship between the brain and emotion, sensory work or the "felt sense" is central to recovery and repair of both psyche and spirit. Rappaport provides a needed and comprehensive resource on why infusing the process of Focusing with art therapy is natural combination and one that creatively brings together mind and body in treatment. Every therapist who uses creative methods in their work will benefit from the wisdom found throughout this volume.
Akira Ikemi, PhD, Professor of Clinical Psychology, Kansai University (Japan)
The reader can get a solid foundation in both Focusing and Art Therapy through Dr. Laury Rappaport's book. The book goes further to transform both of them, in showing how Focusing is always functioning in Art Therapy and how Art Therapy explicates the Focusing process. With lots of exercises, enriched with examples from therapy and workshops, Focusing-Oriented Art Therapy dives deeply into the life process and yet it succeeds in being a highly practical book.
Paolo J Knill, PhD, Dr.h.c., Provost, European Graduate School, Swizterland
Here is finally a fascinating text and guide by a practitioner and experienced teacher in the field, who has the expertise to undertake the long overdue task, in providing a practical grounding for what philosophically supports a similar process, Focusing and Expressive Arts Therapy. Laury Rappaport is an articulate teacher and committed artist, who as a psychotherapist can look back on a long professional career, mastering Focusing and Expressive Arts Therapy alike. Based on this expertise, she eloquently presents a rich text written from a truly phenomenological perspective, that guides like a red thread through this practical book. As a result it speaks to therapists of diverse traditions. What a helpful contribution for a wide range of practitioners interested in the Arts or Focusing.
Dr. Doris Arrington, ATR-BC, Licensed Psychologist, Notre Dame de Namur University
Dr. Rappaport's professional, accessible and enjoyable detailed approach to Focusing-Oriented Art Therapy includes a user-friendly introduction to Gendlin's Focusing Method as well as a bridge to using Focusing with art therapy. The 44 focusing-oriented art therapy exercises included are easy to follow and clinically useful. Dr. Rappaport's book is for beginners and well-practiced professionals who work with individuals and groups. Readers will find it both refreshing and practical and a much used addition to their libraries.
Akira Ikemi, PhD, Professor of Clinical Psychology, Kansai University (Japan), Certifying Focusing Coordinator and Focusing-Oriented Therapist, The Focusing Institute.
The reader can get a solid foundation in both Focusing and Art Therapy through Dr. Laury Rappaport's book... With lots of exercises, enriched with examples from therapy and workshops, Focusing-Oriented Art Therapy dives deeply into the life process and yet it succeeds in being a highly practical book.
Cathy A. Malchiodi, PhD, National Institute for Trauma and Loss, Lesley University, MA
In a time the fields of neuroscience and somatic therapy increasingly inform therapeutic intervention, Laury Rappaport has written a book that is both timely and passionate in its message... Every therapist who uses creative methods in their work will benefit from the wisdom found throughout this volume.
Shaun McNiff, Dean of Lesley College, MA
A major contribution to art therapy literature and practice... This intellectually provocative, yet thoroughly practical text, establishes Rappaport as an emergent leader in the art therapy world and author of a book that every student and art therapist must read in order to appreciate the depth and breadth of our discipline.