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Title: Matter and mind : a critical interrogation of art therapy theory
Author: McKervill , Ceri Sylvia
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2013
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In art therapy, the UK Professional Body states that the 'art media' provide the 'primary mode of communication' (BAAT, 2004,1), yet in my review of the art therapy literature I found that considerably more focus has been placed on the one hand in exploring the artist/client's relationship with the mostly visual end product of the making process, the image or art-work, and on the other hand, in exploring the client-therapist relationship. The literature revealed clear gaps concerning the material dimension of the art therapy dynamic and the embodied nature of the communication that happens with the use of art media. My thesis interrogates the plastic, material basis of the art therapy relationship. In this way my research attempts to address the somewhat under-researched dimension of the role of materials, and relationship with art media, as the 'primary mode of communication' in art therapy. I address the implications of this material language to the psychotherapeutic relationship. My thesis contributes to knowledge across a number of dimensions, including arguing for a promotion of the importance of the relationship between the art media and the person in art therapy theory and practice. My thesis argues for materials to be recognized as agents in the making process and as protagonists in the therapeutic relationship. The thesis synthesizes literature from other cultures and disciplines, such as neuro-biological literature, to interrogate and to inform gaps in art therapy theory by rebalancing the focus to lnclude theory relevant to the making with art materials and thus acknowledging their role as protagonists in the psychotherapeutic relationship. This thesis makes a number of relevant recommendations in relation to art therapy practice, ethics, training and research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available