Allied Health Professions

Download Art As Therapy: Collected Papers by Edith Kramer PDF

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By Edith Kramer

Edith Kramer is without doubt one of the pioneers within the box of artwork remedy, identified and revered in the course of the international. This number of papers displays her life of paintings during this box, displaying how her suggestions and perform have built through the years. In those papers she considers a large spectrum of matters, drawing jointly her techniques on paintings, paintings treatment, society, ethology and scientific perform and putting paintings treatment in its social and ancient context. Drawing on examples from her enormous own event as an artwork therapist, Kramer illustrates her conviction that making is primary to the perform of paintings treatment, not easy these artwork therapists within the box who use artwork as a toll for extra verbal psychotherapeutic perform.

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First, there is the inclination to confound undisciplined, aimless manipulation of art materials with spontaneity. Actually, spontaneous art expression requires that one imagine and depict what is uppermost in one’s mind, and this demands both the suspension of habitual defense and a high degree of moral courage and self-discipline. Untrammeled scribbling and messing are as unlike spontaneous, expressive use of art materials (and unlikely to lead to it) as aimless chatter is unlike free association in psychoanalytic treatment.

Frank became reconciled to the parents’ separation and to his placement. The self-confidence gained in his artwork helped in his adjustment to school and foster home. It would be idle to ask whether the events in the art room had helped to bring about inner change or whether they were the visible manifestation of a change that had occurred imperceptibly. We can assume that the acts of painting and inner change were interdependent. Yet it is noteworthy that a woman’s help in rescuing an aggressive phallic symbol from melting and thus losing its identity was crucial in liberating Frank’s creative energies from a paralyzing double bind.

But before we investigate this problem any further, we have to define more clearly the concept of sublimation which we have been using all along. The concept of sublimation We call sublimation any process in which a primitive asocial impulse is transformed into a socially productive act, so that the pleasure in the achievement of the social act replaces the pleasure which gratification of the original urge would have afforded. For example, there is a beginning of sublimation when a small child prefers the joys of building a tower with his blocks to the aggressive pleasures of throwing them about, or finds the achievement of filling his spoon with food and finding his own mouth more rewarding than messing with his food.

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