transformative practice

Leah Gipson | Artist, Educator, Art Therapist


 

 

what is art therapy?

 

Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy, in which therapists emphasize the use of visual art (and other art forms) for therapeutic intervention.

Today, the path of study for most art therapists is to gain clinical experience and become professional counselors or clinical supervisors. They learn theory and skills that combine ideas from fields of art and psychotherapy. Some art therapists have shifted their studies toward research, community art, or teaching. A few emerging perspectives are more interested in professional practices that do not involve becoming a therapist, but rather exploring ideas that link art to health, and social change.  Recently, scholars in art therapy have called for a broadening or redefinition of the creative arts therapies (art therapy, drama therapy, dance movement therapy, music therapy) to clearly develop an interdisciplinary scope to include critical practices of research and education that might give way to range of new possibilities for the study of art and individual and social change.


art therapy and social justice?

An Art Therapy Digital Archive

As an ideology seeped into every corner of white Western thought and culture, cure rides on the back of normal and natural. Insidious and pervasive, it impacts most of us. In response, we need neither a whole-hearted acceptance nor an outright rejection of cure, but rather a broad-based grappling.
— Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure, Eli Claire
 Image: From Debow's review, Agricultural, commercial, industrial profess and resources. Vol. 11 "Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race.  https://books.google.com/books

Image: From Debow's review, Agricultural, commercial, industrial profess and resources. Vol. 11 "Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race. https://books.google.com/books

 Image: Illustration from a pharmaceutical art print distributed by the Parke-Davis company in 1961. (Credit: Historical Collections & Archives, Oregon Health & Science University) https://www.history.com/news/the-father-of-modern-gynecology-performed-shocking-experiments-on-slaves

Image: Illustration from a pharmaceutical art print distributed by the Parke-Davis company in 1961. (Credit: Historical Collections & Archives, Oregon Health & Science University) https://www.history.com/news/the-father-of-modern-gynecology-performed-shocking-experiments-on-slaves

The Art Therapy Digital Archive is a collaborative educational tool for art therapy professionals, students, and consumers. The purpose of the project is to create a dynamic historical timeline of events that are important to understanding an emerging social justice framework in the profession or art therapy. The co-authors should aim to do honest and critical reflection on evidence that may not fit into a tidy narrative of art therapy in a steady progression towards a social justice orientation in the field. Collaborators may use this project to document people and events outside or on the edge of the profession within a wider context. Others may decide to use the timeline to develop or expand art therapy theory and curricula.

The project hopes to foster an accessible, digital learning community, in which engaging historiography (our stories about history) is essential to the social political development of art therapists as cultural actors. Collaborators can begin to recognize values that are deeply embedded in the way communities and institutions remember, forget, retell, and commemorate events. The process of investigating our cultural knowledge and interpretations of historical people, institutions, and events is intended to support educational training and development of critical consciousness among students, supervisors, educators, and community leaders. The timeline is a ongoing work and is publicly available while in progress. Click Here to View the Art Therapy Digital Archive.

If you are a teacher, student, and/or art therapy consumer who is interested in contributing a new to the timeline project, please provide your contact information.

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 Copyright 2013 Leah Gipson