Creating a Therapy of the Imagination
Art as medicine shows how art therapies help the imagination, and the individual, to heal and be renewed in a natural process.
Shaun McNiff shows how the expressive arts therapies contain the potential for renewal in both art and psychotherapy. Shaun McNiff first describes the theoretical for his vision of art as medicine, citing the archetypal psychology of James Hillman; writers such as D. H. Lawrence and Friedrich Nietzche; mythologists such as Mircea Eliade, Henri Corbin, and the British scolar Jane Harrison; and others. He then discusses his pioneering methods, including interpretation through performance and storytelling, collaborative creation, and dialoguing with paintings, as opposed to talking about paintings. Finally, he offers an illustrated examination of drawing, painting, and dreams, demonstrating how interacting with the products of the imagination can lead to growth and transformation for the healthy as well as the sick.