The field of expressive arts is closely tied to the work of therapeutic change. As well as being beneficial for the individual or small group, expressive arts therapy has the potential for a much wider impact, to inspire social action and bring about social change.
The book's contributors explore the transformative power of the arts therapies in areas stricken by conflict, political unrest, poverty or natural disaster and discuss how and why expressive arts works. They look at the ways it can be used to engage community consciousness and improve social conditions whilst taking into account the issues that arise within different contexts and populations. Leading expressive arts therapy practitioners give inspiring accounts of their work, from using poetry as a tool in trauma intervention with Iraqi survivors of war and torture, to setting up storytelling workshops to aid the integration of Ethiopian Jewish immigrants in Israel.
Offering visionary perspectives on the role of the arts in inspiring change at the community or social level, this is essential reading for students and practitioners of creative and expressive arts therapies, as well as psychotherapists, counsellors, artists and others working to effect social change.
Reading the collected essays found in this book is like being given a window into not only the diversity of what expressive arts therapy and its uses in the public sphere are, but beyond that, what expressive arts looks like and feels like from the perspective of those expressive art practitioners who utilize the tools of the arts within a framework of social healing and change... This book is an opportunity to see clearly the connection between expressive arts and social change: the natural phenomenon that occurs when you allow those you work with to be held in a space where they can express their most fundamental experiences.