Alternative Complimentary Therapies
Chapter 3 Part 3
The previous chapter acknowledges the importance of the clients
involvement and also stresses the significance of the therapist
and the experiences they provide for the individual. Warren (1993)
highlights the experiences provided by the therapist and discusses
what is needed for them to be successful. He identifies the art
therapist as requiring the knowledge, understanding of concepts,
ideas and techniques and the ability to make them accessible
to the client to facilitate the creative process. The art materials
should not be bias, there needs to be a wide variety to account
for individual differences. Some clients may feel uneasy working
with a particular type of medium thus, their needs and abilities
have to be considered.
Alongside the technical practicality of the therapist role
is also the emotional support that was addressed by Ball (2002).
Dalley (1984, p176) reiterates this by stating, "... the
resident/therapist relationship is important in providing the
support and encouragement necessary to make the initial steps
Case and Dalley (1992, p65) acknowledge the importance of
the relationship between the client, therapist and the significance
of this on their artwork. "..- much of the imagery produced
in art therapy is a raw expression of unconscious material which
only surfaces to consciousness after many weeks when connections
can be made and understanding takes place."
The components that make up the creative process, including,
the relationship between the client and the therapist and the
artwork produced, identifies the importance of the art therapist.
Without them the individual attending to their artwork alone
would not get maximum benefits. It is the creative process that
helps make changes for the individual. Spaniol (2001, p222) addresses
this importance of the creative process by stating, "Most
art therapist also regard the creative process itself as having
the power to heal."
The therapist needs to be aware of their own self, in particular
knowledge of their own strengths and weaknesses. This is important
in order to discover their vulnerabilities in an appropriate
environment so they do not bring it into therapy with their client
where the patient may be effected. This was identified in the
previous chapter as
1 2 3
counter-transference. Case and Dalley (1992, p65) reiterate the
importance of the therapist being able to control their own feelings
by confirming, "The therapist's role is to remain open to
the imagery and all its potential meaning for the patient and
contain the anxiety and feelings that are generated in attempting
to understand it." The therapist will attend supervision
groups, here they will engage in therapy themselves. They will
be encouraged to talk through their experiences and how they
feel with regards to particular therapy sessions and clients.
Confidentiality will be maintained throughout these sessions.
This supervision helps the therapist remain professional and