Alternative Complimentary Therapies
These definitions all share the idea of using art as a medium
with individual therapy. Drawn from the last definition is the
issue of psychological theories. These will not be considered
in the dissertation. Although they could be seen as relevant
to the way the issues that may arise are worked through. This
is acknowledged briefly in chapter 2, the individual experience.
Laing (1974) as cited in Dalley (1984, pxxi) stresses the importance
of the individual client, the role of art therapy and their identity,
something the schizophrenic sufferer struggles with.
Every original art production by the patient is in some degree
an aspect of that person. No-one else can create the same result
on paper or canvas. Art therapy
offers an area where the patient can proclaim his identity
and it offers an atmosphere where he can be himself... Art offers
a medium which can give birth communication with others and confrontation
with the self.
This idea of using art therapeutically is reiterated by Spaniol
(2001, p222) here she confirms, "Based on a belief in the
integrative and healing potential of visual imagery, art therapy
generally uses artwork as vehicles for psychological insight
and emotional growth."
When considering the interpretation of the individuals artwork
Case and Dalley
(1992, p65) suggest, "Images are statements that have different
layers of meaning, which can only be gradually unfolded."
It is the interpretation of these images by the client with facilitation
from the therapist that helps the individual understand their
illness. Art activities can be seen as a means of non-verbal
communication. Artistic creation provides a concrete medium that
a person can gain conscious and unconscious expression. Art can
be used in a variety of ways to help the individual with expression
and communication. The use of self-drawings or portraits is one
of these ways.
Machover (1949) developed a projective technique called Draw-A-Person
test. Here the therapist asks the client to draw a person on
a blank sheet of white paper and tell them a story about that
person. The test is based on the idea that the figure drawn is
representative of the client. According to Machover's test evaluation
criteria the placement of the figure represents different elements
in the client's life. The right side of the paper represents,
the future, left the past, upper right, suppressed past and optimism
and lower left, depression. Facial expressions shown on the drawing
characterise personal traits, for example, large eyes or ears
reflect suspiciousness and paranoia. Schatz (2003)
According to James (2003, p1) "Drawing as a projective technique
has been used to look at both intellectual and personality constructs
and intra-and interpersonal relationships..."
This is a useful technique with schizophrenia sufferers as
it can give an insight into the individual and their illness.
The project question, 'How do self-drawings in art therapy help
people with schizophrenia?' will be approached with four chapters,
these comprise of, chapter one, how can schizophrenia be identified
through drawings of the self? Chapter two, the individual experience.
Chapter three, the role of the art therapist. Chapter four, what
are the therapeutic properties of self-drawings? Finally, from
these, conclusions will be drawn.