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
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