The Role of Metaphor in Art Therapy: Theory, Method, and Experience
Publish Date: 2007-08-01
Author: Bruce L. Moon
Pragmatic and poetic, this book is a tribute to the complexities and mysteries of working with people who are suffering and striving to tell their stories through expressive artistic processes. Its roots lay deep in encounters with children, adolescents, and adults who have come to the author for help over the last three decades. It is grounded in interactions with graduate art therapy students and encounters with important themes in life. This book makes no effort to affix particular meanings to the metaphors discussed in the clinical vignettes, but rather, suggests ways to listen and respond to metaphoric communications. In the methodology described in this book, ways to respond to clients' metaphors are demonstrated by creating stories, poems, and visual artworks. Art therapy sessions are described, engaging in dialogues with clients and their artworks in an effort to invite both to share stories. The studio-based approach, where artists and art therapists work side-by-side making art, exploring issues of transition, and listening metaphorically, is examined. In addition, the relevance of esthetics and empathy in looking at client artwork without judgment and responding to the client through art making is discussed. This excellent resource describes how to look at, listen to, and respond to the metaphors that artworks divulge.