On Art and Therapy
- By: Jayati Das Munshi
Art therapy is one of those disciplines I know little about. I am told by colleagues who have experienced it first hand on placement that I'm not missing much. Which, I suppose, is hardly surprising, given the current climate of stark disapproval against which therapies with no evidence base have to battle against in order to survive. It was with this in mind that I started to read Martina Thomson's On Art and Therapy.
Art therapy works on many different levels. Simple engagement with materials may in itself be therapeutic, as may the experience of allowing the subconscious to take form on paper. A particularly interesting way in which art therapy may work is with schizophrenic patients. According to the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, infants only begin to recognise their reflection in mirrors when aged 6-18 months. The recognition of the self gives a sense of subjectivity and is important