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Art-Based Group Therapy

Theory and Practice

Art-Based Group Therapy by Bruce L. Moon
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Leading art therapy groups is often a challenge, but as Bruce Moon so eloquently describes in this new second edition, making art in the context of others is an incredibly and almost inexplicably powerful experience. By placing the art at the center of practice, Art-Based Group Therapy creates an explanatory model and rationale for group practice that is rooted in art therapy theory and identity. There are four primary goals discussed in this text. First, an overview of essential therapeutic elements of art-based group work is provided. Second, a number of case vignettes that illustrate how therapeutic elements are enacted in practice are presented. Third, the author clearly differentiates art-based group therapy theory from traditional group psychotherapy theory. Fourth, the aspects of art-based group work and their advantages unique to art therapy are explored. Art-based group processes can be used to enhance participants' sense of community and augment educational endeavors, promote wellness, prevent emotional difficulties, and treat psychological behavioral problems. Artistic activity is used in art-based groups processes to: (1) create self-expression and to recognize the things group members have in common with one another; (2) develop awareness of the universal aspects of their difficulties as a means to identify and resolve interpersonal conflicts; (3) increase self-worth and alter self-concepts; (4) respond to others and express compassion for one another; and (5) clarify feelings and values. Through the author's effective use of storytelling, the reader encounters the group art therapy experience, transcending the case vignette and didactic instruction. Art-based group therapy can help group members achieve nearly any desired outcome, and/or address a wide range of therapeutic objectives. The book will be of benefit to students, practitioners, and educators alike. Using it as a guide, art therapy students may be more empowered to enter into the uncertain terrains of their practice grounded in a theory soundly based in their area of study. Practitioners will no doubt be encouraged, validated, and inspired to continue their work. The author succeeds in establishing a framework that allows art therapists to communicate the value of their work in a language that is unique to art therapy.
Charles C Thomas; May 2016
259 pages; ISBN 9780398091163
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Title: Art-Based Group Therapy
Author: Bruce L. Moon