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Alternative Therapies Picture

Alternative Complimentary Therapies

Chapter 2 Part 2

The individual experience

Here she states,

Some art therapists pay little attention to the process of producing a picture, feeling that the most important part of the therapy lies in the discussion of the product, and the relationship with the therapist. Other art therapists feel that the process of making an art work is the most important aspect in promoting change, and that discussing the products is largely superfluous*. Most art therapies now recognise both as being important, and realise that clients may have different needs in this respect.

With reference to the clients needs, it does need to be acknowledged that they will all have unique drives that will reflect their individuality. Some schizophrenic suffers may benefit from the actual act of expressing their thoughts and feelings onto their self-drawings, whilst others may gain more from being involved in a therapeutic relationship.
*superfluous, more than enough, redundant, needless.

The connection they may have made involving, trust, attention and confidentiality may be what is needed to help the sufferer. Warren (1993, p43) acknowledges the therapeutic relationship and in particular stresses trust as a beneficial factor, "Once the gift of trust has been exchanged, there is no end to the opportunities for creative expression." This creative expression can be recognised through the drawings of the self. It can expose the schizophrenic's disturbances, confusion, loss of identity, and can be used to help find a real sense of self. The idea of having a sense of self or identity can be seen as important to a person suffering from schizophrenia, especially when having the symptom of feeling there is no boundary between yourself and others. Dalley, Rifkind and Terry (1993)
This is highlighted from an account by Marguerite Sechehaye as cited in Torrey (2001, p67),

Sometimes I did not know clearly whether it was she or I who needed something. For instance if I asked for another cup of tea and Mamma answered teasingly, "But why do you want more tea; don't you see that I have just finished my cup and so you don't need any?" Then I replied, "Yes, that's true, I don't need any more, "confusing her with myself. But at bottom I did desire a second cup of tea, and I said, "But I still want some more tea, " and suddenly, in a flash, I realized the fact that Mamma's satiety* did not make me sated too. And I was ashamed to let myself be thus trapped and to watch her laugh at my discomfiture.

When schizophrenic symptoms like the one previous are reflected within the individual's artwork a number of self-discoveries can occur over the duration of the therapy, these may involve realisation, gaining an identity, the significance, understanding and insight of the artwork and the process involved.

*satiety, the state of being glutted or satiated. The feeling of having too much of something.

The following gives a clear impression about how an art therapy patient feels when working with images, cited in Case and Dalley (1992, p113),

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