Art Therapy Theories : A Critical Introduction book cover
1st Edition

Art Therapy Theories
A Critical Introduction

ISBN 9780415836340
Published December 8, 2015 by Routledge
182 Pages

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Book Description

Art therapists work with a range of distinct philosophical and theoretical underpinnings, but as yet there has been no single book to offer an overview of these theories. Art Therapy Theories provides an introductory, non-partisan overview of art therapy theories outlining the following therapy approaches: 

Cognitive Behavioural Art Therapy

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy

Psychoanalytical (Freudian) Art Therapy

Analytical (Jungian) Art Therapy

Gestalt Art Therapy

Person-Centred or ‘Rogerian’ Art Therapy

Mindfulness Art Therapy

Integrative Art Therapy (the Group-Interactive Model)

Feminist Art Therapy

Art Therapy as Social Action

Art Therapy as a Research Tool

Each chapter provides a non-judgemental, yet analytical, synopsis of each approach. No detailed knowledge is necessary to understand the different approaches, as the book explains them in clear and concise English. Difficult terms and concepts are explained as they arise, and a glossary of terms is also provided.

Art Therapy Theories is aimed at trainee art therapists who need to demonstrate that they have a grasp of theory, as well as a sense of how the theory can translate into practice. It will also appeal to seasoned therapists, counsellors and to a wide range of professionals in the mental health field.


Table of Contents

Foreword, Waller. Introduction. Cognitive Behavioural Art Therapy. Psychoanalytical Art. Psychotherapy. Analytical (Jungian) Art Therapy. Gestalt Art Therapy. Person-Centred Art Therapy. Mindfulness Art Therapy. Integrative Art Therapy: The Group-Interactive Art Therapy Model. Feminist Art Therapy. Social Art Therapy. Art Therapy as Social Action and Art Therapy as a Research Tool. Critical Glossary of Terms.

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Susan Hogan is Professor in Art Therapy and Cultural Studies at the University of Derby. She has written extensively on the relationship between the arts and insanity, and the role of the arts in rehabilitation, particularly in relation to women.


Hogan offers an innovative and accessible contribution to the literature that challenges the way we conceptualize art therapy theory and practice today. The work’s relevance expands well beyond the UK its unique insights will inspire art therapists around the world. Hogan masterfully explores various theories in the complex but unified profession of art therapy, and weaves them together through the overarching framework of social critique. My own approach to teaching is changed because of this book. The concepts Hogan invites us to contemplate make this a must-read for students, educators and practitioners alike. - Donna Betts, PhD, ATR-BC, Board President, the American Art Therapy Association; Research Professor, George Washington University Graduate Art Therapy Program

Art Therapy Theories by Susan Hogan, is the book that I, as the executive director of an art therapy training program and a professor, have been waiting for. It is a contemporary and long-needed update to the profession of art therapy, a foundation text that all students starting off in the profession should read cover to cover. I appreciate the clarity Hogan has provided to distinguish the main theories we integrate in our work as art therapists, such as Psychoanalytic, Jungian, Cognitive Behavioral as well as the inclusion of newer but essential streams including Feminist Art Therapy, Art Therapy as Social Justice and Mindfulness Art Therapy. This book will take its place in our curriculum as a required text along with the other fundamental literature which with we nurture the new generation of art therapists in Canada. - Helene Burt, DA, RCAT, ATR, (Doctorate of Arts in Art Therapy, NYU) Executive Director, Toronto Art Therapy Institute; Editor of Art Therapy and Postmodernism: Creative Healing Through a Prism

I found the book really enlightening and strongly recommend it. - Diane Waller OBE, President of the British Association of Art Therapists, from the foreword

This important book is a welcomed asset to the profession of art therapy with a comprehensive overview of theoretical approaches that underpin contemporary art therapy practice historically, theoretically and clinically. The complexities and intricacies of a wide variety of models are made accessible and contextualised in this thoughtfully concise, easy to read, account of art therapy work, in particular how a chosen approach affects the differing role of the practitioner. Suitable for students, academics, researchers and practitioners, this is an essential read for a new generation of art therapists. A timely contribution to the literature of this rapidly expanding discipline. - Annette M. Coulter, The Centre for Art Psychotherapy, Blue Mountains, Australia

Art Therapy Theories: A Critical Introduction is an important addition to the relatively small literature that relates to theory in art therapy... The importance of this book... is that it goes beyond prescribing art therapy activities for static art therapy populations, and enables art therapists to work through a theoretical prism as a base for addressing different interventions, skills, and populations... It is an important part of the revival of the understanding of the importance of theory within art therapy." - Ephrat Huss, PsycCritiques