Art, Psychotherapy and Psychosis by Katherine Killick, Joy Schaverien

By Katherine Killick, Joy Schaverien

Art, Psychotherapy and Psychosis finds the original function of paintings treatment within the remedy of psychosis. Illustrating their contributions with scientific fabric and paintings created through consumers, skilled practitioners describe their paintings in various settings. Writing from assorted theoretical standpoints they mirror the present inventive range in the occupation and its hyperlinks with psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, analytical psychology and psychiatry. partly I particular matters interested by operating with psychosis are explored. those comprise dialogue of the healing courting, the method of symbolisation, the character and that means of paintings made through psychotic sufferers and the interaction among phrases and images. half II recounts the historical past of paintings treatment and psychosis, tracing its origins in artwork, to its present-day function as a revered therapy in psychiatric, group and healing settings. Art, Psychotherapy and Psychosis extends the prevailing concept, develops analytical techniques in paintings psychotherapy and provides leading edge views for college kids and practitioners at the remedy of borderline states in addition to psychosis.

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Sample text

When the therapist exists as a person in the mind of the patient, the picture may be related to a talisman and it may even symbolise the relationship. A year after Lena’s admission, Dr X had left and had been replaced by Dr Y. In psychiatry it is common practice for junior doctors to move departments on sixmonthly rotation. When this change took place I had encouraged Lena to make a picture to express her feelings of loss. In this way I affirmed the significance of the relationship and gave her permission to own her feelings.

A fetish is a doll or an object made with the intention of conveying some desired effect. It may be experienced as ‘live’ with influence for good or ill. Since the advent of psychoanalysis the term fetish has come to be commonly associated with sexual perversion. The fetish, in psychoanalysis, is an object of attachment which is 20 Art, psychotherapy and psychosis linked to the person’s sexuality in some fundamental way (Freud 1928). ‘A sexual fetish is either an inanimate object or a non-sexual part of a person in the absence of which the fetishist is incapable of sexual excitement’ (Rycroft 1968:50).

It was a potent externalisation of an unconscious state which reveals the stage of identification. The hand with which Lena wished to cover her picture was painted on to it, obliterating the original image. This literal rendering of the gesture reveals the lack of differentiation of psychosis. There was no distinction between her body and the paint and paper; she was it and it was her. At the time this picture was made, I suggest that neither the art therapist nor the doctor was experienced as a person but, rather, each assumed the proportions of persecutory elements of Lena’s inner world.

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