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Disertation

Abstract

Introduction 1
Introduction 2

Chapter 1 Part 1
Chapter 1 Part 2

Chapter 2 Part 1
Chapter 2 Part 2
Chapter 2 Part 3

Chapter 3 Part 1
Chapter 3 Part 2
Chapter 3 Part 3

Chapter 4 Part 1
Chapter 4 Part 2

Conclusion 1
Conclusion 2

References

 

Alternative Therapies Picture

Alternative Complimentary Therapies

Conclusion Part 2

One of the main themes to emerge from this study is the idea of self-expression. The individual's schizophrenic thoughts, feelings and experiences that are articulated through their self-portraits have shown to be extremely beneficial for the sufferer. It allows them the opportunity to draw the way they see themselves at specific times. For example, they may be delusional at one time and paranoid at another. The different self-portraits that can be drawn by one individual label the different ways they perceive their physical self. When the changing sense of self that the sufferer is familiar with can be drawn, it helps them gain control over their schizophrenic symptoms and assists them in defining what is physically real and what are the characteristics of their illness.

This study has shown the physical disturbances the individual suffering from schizophrenia encounters. The schizophrenic's physical sense of self is important to them, the way they look, feel and understand themselves in the real world is paramount.

All the drawings enclosed (Appendix 1, 2, 3 and 4) seem to reflect the physical attributes of schizophrenia. This could be used as a way of reflecting on the individual symptoms and the feelings associated with them.

Self-expression is important to help the individual gain independence over their different sense of selves, in turn, this helps them form a physical identity that is clear and intact. Although, as stated earlier, there is little evidence of self-drawings being used in this way.

As the individual sufferer explores their self-image and identity they begin to
understand and make a connection between the relationship between their physical boundaries and the boundaries they use in their drawings, the lines and edges. This can lead on to an understanding of what is real and what is characteristic of schizophrenia.

Little is known of the benefits from self-figure drawings with schizophrenics, again this is due to the lack of valuable research in the area. Most of the research does not consider the possible use of self-figure drawings as a way of identifying schizophrenia.

James (2003, p1) reiterates the point of not using self-figure drawings and stresses their importance, here he states, "Drawing as therapy is typically not used by therapists who work with adults because they see it as "childish." That insular view dismisses a very powerful technique which is particularly appropriate for adults who are in crisis because of a traumatic experience."

This dissertation has answered the project title, 'How do self-drawings in art therapy help people with schizophrenia?'. An extensive range of results have been identified as helping the individual manage their illness. In addition the project has also shown how schizophrenic symptoms can be identified through the self-portrait drawings.

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