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The development of the individual through art therapy

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The development of the individual through art therapy

Wells-Ratcliffe, Catherine (2003) The development of the individual through art therapy. Other thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

It is the developed individual who will be happiest, healthiest and able to be who he or she was born capable to be. This paper looks at the philosophical and psychological background of the Western concept of the individual, specifically at the way it is explained by Freud, Jung, Winnicott, Rogers and Maslow. Art and the Individual have evolved together in Western Civilization from the Renaissance to postmodernism. It is the innate creative impulse in all human beings that leads to self-expression and individual growth. Development occurs when people make their own objects and images as "good-enough art". Art therapy provides a safe, empathic relationship and space to do this, and is in a unique position to foster the inner psychological, creative and aesthetic life of individuals. Knowledge of how this life may authentically be expressed through art equips the art therapist to promote individual development. From a humanistic perspective, the paper concludes that a society comprised of well-developed individuals, able to express their inner lives creatively, will be more likely to be healthy, democratic and peaceful. At the same time, the mature individual will function better in society and in turn will contribute to the common good. The implication for our profession is that art therapy is well positioned to cultivate human development through the fostering and understanding of creative and symbolic representation of the inner life, as well as engendering respect for individual worth and humaneness in our world.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art Education
Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Creative Arts Therapies
Item Type:Thesis (Other)
Authors:Wells-Ratcliffe, Catherine
Series Name:Research Paper
Pagination:vii, 73 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Research papers (M.A.)
Program:Art Education and Creative Arts Therapies
Date:2003
Thesis Supervisor(s):Gregoire, Pierre A
ID Code:2048
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:24
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:24
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