One last textbook review for the year! At least that’s what I’m telling myself. In Judith Rubin’s second edition of Approaches to Art Therapy, she invites various authors and therapists to contribute chapters on their different theoretical approaches towards art therapy. These are divided into various subsets, including the psychodynamic approaches, humanistic, psycho-educational, integrative, and systemic or group therapy approaches.
As with any book written with various authors making contributions, some chapters read easier and are more inviting than others. Similarly, some of the theoretical frameworks are much easier to understand and I seem better able to connect with than others. Yet, seeing a vast range of approaches to one field is always important, as all the different frameworks contribute something different that may be more useful to some patients than others, and can be integrated into a therapist’s main theoretical approach that they develop personally over time.
While I am more familiar with the psychodynamic theories as originally developed by Freud and Jung, I am particularly drawn to the humanistic theories (including Gestalt, Phenomenology, and Person-Centered Expressive Arts Therapy), as these are more based on the actual expressive experience of the client. But let’s not go too deep into all that right now.
All in all, I read through this book quite slowly, but it was good in giving an overview of many of the various theoretical approaches that an art therapist may use or integrate into their personal practice.
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