Dreams have been described as dress rehearsals for real life, opportunities to gratify wishes, and a form of nocturnal therapy. A new theory aims to make sense of it all.
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Arts and Health
Posted Apr 24, 2008
Very well stated, Cathy! I am glad that you could educate others on the power and healing of the arts. I too have been a direct witness to the healing power of the arts when I worked in a children's hospital on a hematology and oncology unit. The doctor once said to me: "Now if only I could figure out why what you do works, that would be great." This was an unsolicited comment and based on his observations of my work. Keep blogging Cathy, it is a real assest to us all.
I agree--more often than not, art saves lives. On the other hand, as I noted in my initial post on the subject, it can occasionally, in select cases, decompensate people too... But here is another question, a variation on the same theme, I guess: Is art intrinsically--always, inevitably--therapeutic? Obviously, I don't think so. I can be expressive, but it can also be defensive in nature...
Thanks for posting a comment! Your blog inspires me and I am looking forward to reading a lot more of your observations about what is of course a difficult subject to generalize. My clinical specialty for 20 years has been trauma intervention; since traumatic memory is often sensory in nature, art expression may be counter-indicated in some cases/phases of treatment. Or at least it must be presented in a way that does not cause retraumatization through repetition of painful events through sensory channels. I think we both be in concert on that point.
Thanks for this article--the illustrations really speak for themselves. I agree that art is healing--so much so that I have spent years studying poetry therapy which is using the written word including poetry to assist in the healing process. A picture, painting, photograph, poem, story, collage, sculpture, expresses emotions and thoughts in a unique way that might synthesize experience into something transcendent. If containment is needed, draw a box in the middle of the page and make your creation in that space, surrounded by the safety of what is around it.
You are doing a wonderful job in promoting art therapy ......keep up the good work. Cay D.
Cathy Malchiodi is an art therapist, visual artist, independent scholar, and author of 13 books on arts therapies, including The Art Therapy Sourcebook.
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