Art as Medicine

Overview

"Whenever illness is associated with loss of soul," writes Shaun McNiff, "the arts emerge spontaneously as remedies, soul medicine." The medicine of the artist, like that of the shaman, arises from his or her relationship to "familiars"—the themes, methods, and materials that interact with the artist through the creative process. Art As Medicine demonstrates how the imagination heals and renews itself through this natural process. The author describes his pioneering methods of art therapy—including interpretation...
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Art as Medicine: Creating a Therapy of the Imagination

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Overview

"Whenever illness is associated with loss of soul," writes Shaun McNiff, "the arts emerge spontaneously as remedies, soul medicine." The medicine of the artist, like that of the shaman, arises from his or her relationship to "familiars"—the themes, methods, and materials that interact with the artist through the creative process. Art As Medicine demonstrates how the imagination heals and renews itself through this natural process. The author describes his pioneering methods of art therapy—including interpretation through performance and storytelling, creative collaboration, and dialoguing with images—and the ways in which they can revitalize both psychotherapy and art itself.

McNiff introduces his pioneering methods of using the creative arts to renew and heal the imagination, such as interpretation through performance and storytelling, collaborative creation, and dialoguing with paintings, as opposed to talking about paintings. 30 halftones.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This well-written book shows brilliantly the interplay between soul and sacred, art and shamanism, sickness and health. It is a mature product, combining lucid philosophy with hands-on experience, and contains profound insights into the human psyche."—Intuition

"The fast-growing field of expressive arts therapy recognizes Shaun McNiff to be its most perceptive pioneer and articulate teacher. Art As Medicine clearly displays his gifts and solidly confirms his reputation."—James Hillman

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780877736585
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/1992
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 954,809
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Shaun McNiff is internationally recognized as a founder and leading figure in the arts and healing field. University Professor at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he is past president of the American Art Therapy Association and the author of several other books including Art As Medicine, Trust the Process, and Creating with Others .
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Pt. 1 Context
Simple Beginnings 9
Shamanic Continuities 16
Attunement to the Archetypal 27
A Link to the "Art World" 44
Psyche's Movement 54
Imaginal Realism 66
Artist and Angel 74
The Daimonic Tradition 89
Pt. 2 Dialoguing and Other Methods
Loquent Meditations 97
Creation Stories 99
Responding 102
Talking with Images 105
The Value of Dialogue 109
Performance 119
Dreaming 128
Pt. 3 Demonstration
Image Dialogues 145
Bibliography 227
Index 231
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