Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 153–162 | Cite as

The Phenomenological Approach to Art Therapy

  • Joseph Guttmann
  • Dafna Regev

Abstract

The present paper discusses the phenomenological approach to art-therapy and suggests an operational terminology for its main theoretical concepts. First we present the general assumptions that underline art therapy. Definitions, leading approaches, and the therapeutic effect of artwork are considered. Next we indicate the need for relevant and particular theories of art therapy. Phenomenological theory is examined as a case in point because of its popularity among art therapists. Despite its philosophical appeal, however, we find phenomenological theory lacking the operational terminology that is essential to form a coherent and distinct school of therapy. In the present paper, we extract from phenomenological theory operational principles, which can be followed and applied by art therapists. In this analysis, we take into consideration Betensky's pioneer attempt to create the bridge between phenomenological theory as applied in verbal psychotherapy and art therapy. We end by discussing the urgent need to operationalize other verbal psychotherapeutic theories so they are relevant for art-therapy practice and may help create greater similarities among art therapists of the same school of psychotherapy.

phenomenological approach art therapy 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Betensky, M. G. (1977). The phenomenological approach to art expression and art-therapy. Art Psychotherapy, 4, 173–179.Google Scholar
  2. Betensky, M. G. (1987). Phenomenology of therapeutic art expression and art-therapy. In J. A. Rubin (Ed.), Approaches to art-therapy: Theory and technique. New York: Brunner/Mazel.Google Scholar
  3. Betensky, M. G. (1995). What do you see?—Phenomenology of therapeutic art expression. London: Jessica Kingsley.Google Scholar
  4. Cohn, H. W. (1997). Existential thought and therapeutic practice. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  5. Dalley, T., Case, C., Schaverien, J., Halliday, D., Hall, P. N., & Waller, D. (1995). Images of art therapy. New developments in theory and practice. London & New York: Tavistock/Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Grainger, R. (1999). Researching the art therapists: A paratherapist's perspective. London: Jessica Kingsley.Google Scholar
  7. Hogan, S. (2001). Healing arts: The history of art therapy. London: Jessica Kingsley.Google Scholar
  8. Hornby, A. S. (1991). Oxford student's dictionary for Hebrew speakers. Tel Aviv: Kernerman and Lonnie Kahn.Google Scholar
  9. Jung, C. (1963). Memories, dreams, reflections. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  10. Kohut, H. (1984). How does analysis cure? Chicago: Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  11. Kramer, E. (1958). Art-therapy in a children's community. Chicago: Charles C. Thomas.Google Scholar
  12. Kramer, E. (1971). Art as therapy with children. New York: Schocken.Google Scholar
  13. Kramer, E. (1987). Sublimation and art therapy. In J. A. Rubin (Ed.), Approaches to art therapy—Theory and technique (pp. 26–43). New York: Brunner/Mazel.Google Scholar
  14. Kramer, E. (1979). Childhood and art-therapy. New York: Schocken.Google Scholar
  15. Lachman-Chapin, M. (1987). A self psychology approach to art therapy. In J. A. Rubin (Ed.), Approaches to art therapy—theory and technique (pp. 75–91). New York: Brunner/Mazel.Google Scholar
  16. Malon, D.W., & Hurley, W. (1992). Treating a self-disorder developmentally and phenomenologically. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 22(4), 247–261.Google Scholar
  17. McNiff, S. (1979). From Shamanism to art therapy. Art Psychotherapy, 6, 151–156.Google Scholar
  18. McNiff, S. (1988). Fundamentals of art-therapy. Chicago: Charles C. Thomas.Google Scholar
  19. McNiff, S. (1989). Depth psychology of art. Chicago: Charles C. Thomas.Google Scholar
  20. Naumburg, M. (1953). Psychoneurotic art: Its function in psychotherapy. New York: Grune & Stratton.Google Scholar
  21. Naumburg, M. (1966). Dynamically oriented art-therapy: Its principles and practices. New York and London: Grune & Stratton.Google Scholar
  22. Norcross, J. C. (1985). In defense of theoretical orientations for clinicians. The Clinical Psychologist, 38(1), 13–17.Google Scholar
  23. O'Hanlon, W. H., & Weiner-Davis, M. (1989). In search of solutions. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  24. Plock, S. (1996). The existential-phenomenological movement. In W. Dryden (Ed.), Developments in psychotherapy—historical perspectives. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  25. Rhyne, J. (1973). The Gestalt art experience. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole.Google Scholar
  26. Robbins, A. (1994). A multi modal approach to creative art-therapy. London: Jessica Kingsley.Google Scholar
  27. Rubin, J. A. (1984). Child art therapy. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.Google Scholar
  28. Rubin, J. A. (1987). Approaches to art-therapy: Theory and technique. New York: Brunner/ Mazel.Google Scholar
  29. Rubin, J. A. (1998). Art therapy—an introduction. New York: Brunner/ Mazel.Google Scholar
  30. Simon, R. M. (1992). The symbolism of style. London: Tavistock/ Routledge.Google Scholar
  31. Simon, R. M. (1996). Symbolic images in art as therapy. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  32. Spinelli, E. (1989). The interpreted world—an introduction to phenomenological psychology. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  33. Storr, A. (1972). The dynamics of creation. Middlesex, England: Penguin.Google Scholar
  34. Ulman, E. (1975). Art therapy—in theory and practice. New York: Schocken.Google Scholar
  35. Valle, R. S., & King, M. (1978). Existential-phenomenological alternatives for psychology. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  36. van Deurzen-Smith, E. (1988). Existential counseling in practice. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  37. van Deurzen-Smith, E. (1996). Existential therapy. In W. Dryden (Ed.), Handbook of individual therapy. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  38. van Deurzen-Smith, E. (1997). Everyday mysteries—existential dimensions of psychotherapy. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  39. Wadeson, H. (1987). The dynamics of art psychotherapy. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  40. Waller, D. (1991). Becoming a profession: The history of art therapy in Britain 1940–82. London and New York: Tavistock/Routledge.Google Scholar
  41. Winnicott, D. W. (1971). Playing and reality. London: Tavistock.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Guttmann
    • 1
  • Dafna Regev
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael

Personalised recommendations