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Frank, G. (1978). Creative Art Therapy. Arthur Robbins and Linda Beth Sibley. New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1976. xiii + 261 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 65(4):658-659.

(1978). Psychoanalytic Review, 65(4):658-659

Creative Art Therapy. Arthur Robbins and Linda Beth Sibley. New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1976. xiii + 261 pp.

Review by:
George Frank

This book is truly a milestone in art therapy. In the past the art therapist has been considered more or less an adjunct to therapy, much as the occupational or recreational therapist still is. But a subtitle for this book could be “The Coming of Age of Art Therapy,” since it describes a new vista. In this book art therapy is seen as a therapeutic modality in its own right, not one that replaces traditional psychotherapy, but one where the patient does more than draw for relaxation or diversion. Art therapy is viewed as an opportunity for the art therapist to create a dialogue with the patient nonverbally as well as verbally, providing not only an accepting milieu in which the patient can learn to express himself more freely, but an opportunity to encourage expression, and engage in a therapeutic dialogue with the patient via the art production. The art therapist is seen as an individual who must understand psychodynamics and who is encouraged to have therapy himself to facilitate working with the unconscious imagery of the patient's productions.

Jung used drawing to facilitate the expression of the unconscious dynamics of the patient, and this present work is based partly on the same spirit. Thus art is viewed as a symbolic expression of the dynamic unconscious, involving personal as well as archetypal symbols.

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