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Towards the integration of nature into art therapy : a heuristic exploration of an ecological context for creative experience

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Towards the integration of nature into art therapy : a heuristic exploration of an ecological context for creative experience

Boettger, Kristin (2002) Towards the integration of nature into art therapy : a heuristic exploration of an ecological context for creative experience. Other thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Historically, there has been a disturbing absence of nature in the field of psychotherapy. Up until now, much of the helping professions have adopted a primarily self-centered approach to healing, with little emphasis placed upon our relationship to the Earth. This absence of an ecological sensibility is also present in the field of the creative arts therapies, as the connection between art and nature has rarely been made explicit or applied in clinical practice. However, there is evidence to suggest that the field of psychotherapy, and specifically art therapy, is beginning to adopt such an awareness, and being enriched in the process. This paper is an examination of how art therapy might benefit from adopting an ecological context for clinical practice and research. A heuristic research design is used to examine the researcher's experience of nature through reviewing pertinent literature, presenting personal creative responses, and speculating on possible therapeutic implications of findings. Findings include an increased awareness of nature as embodying multiple contradictions--enabling the researcher to better tolerate personally felt inner contradictions. These realizations are discussed as fostering an increased sense of authenticity in both personal creative pursuits and clinical practice. Suggestions for applications of an ecological context in the practice of art therapy are offered in the context of Winnicott's theory of object relations and the intermediate realm, and questions raised with regards to future directions for research and practice.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art Education
Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Creative Arts Therapies
Item Type:Thesis (Other)
Authors:Boettger, Kristin
Series Name:Research Paper
Pagination:[ix], 108 leaves : col. ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Research papers (M.A.)
Program:Art Education and Creative Arts Therapies
Date:2002
Thesis Supervisor(s):Anthony, Elizabeth
ID Code:1851
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:22
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:23
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