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Self-mutilation, pathology, and performance : implications for art therapy

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Self-mutilation, pathology, and performance : implications for art therapy

Shalmon, Maya (2007) Self-mutilation, pathology, and performance : implications for art therapy. Other thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This research addresses the phenomenon of self-mutilation, as practiced by adolescents and adults living in contemporary Western society, as found in the imagery of clients in art therapy, and as performed by artists as part of their body of work. Literature on self-mutilation in the fields of psychiatry, psychology, and art therapy is compared to and contrasted with art historical literature on a selection of contemporary performance artists using self-mutilation in their work. The principle aim of this research is to examine the motivations and functions of self-mutilation performed in the contexts of pathology and of performance art. The subsidiary aim of this research is to investigate the relationship between the actor and the viewer, be it the performance artist and the audience, or the client and the therapist. This study uses a theoretical methodology in order to review divergent discourses on acts of self-mutilation performed within different contexts, in the hopes of finding interrelationships between them, thereby contributing to a new perspective on the subject relevant to the field of art therapy. Treatment implications for art therapists explored in this study include the way in which the art making process may aid in overcoming the obstacle of therapist counter-transference towards self-mutilating clients, and facilitate the resolution of unconsciously driven acting out behavior. The relationship between self-mutilation and ritual informs a discussion on the parallels between ritual space, contained within established cultural boundaries, and transitional space, contained within the art therapeutic frame, and how both offer conditions favorable for transformation.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Creative Arts Therapies
Item Type:Thesis (Other)
Authors:Shalmon, Maya
Series Name:Research Paper
Pagination:viii, 99 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Creative Arts Therapies
Date:2007
Thesis Supervisor(s):Leclerc, Josée
ID Code:975339
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:06
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:40
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