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The Handbook of Art Therapy Paperback – 9 Jun 2014

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‘Erudite and informative; a wealth of expertise is contained in this engaging book. The authors offer the benefit of their extensive experience in an accessible depth journey into art therapy. Thoroughly contextualised in the history, theory and practice of the profession, a wealth of insights are contained within its pages. Illuminated with vivid clinical vignettes, this brand new and up to date edition of a classic text will be invaluable for a wide readership including beginners, students and experienced professionals.’ Professor Joy Schaverien PhD, Jungian Psychoanalyst, Art Psychotherapist, Author of The Revealing Image and of Desire and the Female Therapist: Engendered Gazes in Psychotherapy and Art therapy.

This new edition of Case and Dalley’s seminal Handbook of Art Therapy, first published in 1992, has a great deal to recommend it. Now in its (3rd? 4th? 5th?!) edition, the Handbook summarises the different definitions, theories and practices of art therapy, showing how the profession has developed and changed since it began in the 1940s and bringing it all bang up-to-date, giving the relative newcomer to art therapy a real flavour of contemporary clinical work.

The Handbook is packed full of new material, giving a fantastically useful overview of contemporary art therapy practice in Britain that is situated within the significant changes in the profession, and in art therapists’ workplaces, during recent years. Clinical work inside and outwith the NHS and in organisational and non-organisational contexts, including as a self-employed art therapist, are all discussed and richly illustrated with case examples from the authors’ clinical work and from practitioners working across the wide range of current art therapy practice.

This is what really caught my attention in the new edition: the way Case and Dalley have not only described the development of new theory and its practical application to art therapy – from developmental, attachment, neurobiological and mentalisation theories to aesthetic, narrative and mindfulness approaches to practice – but have also captured the changes in context and client population and their impact on clinical work. They discuss working with differing client populations and with those from diverse ethnic, religious and social backgrounds; they describe clinical practice in hospitals, clinics and schools as well as working peripatetically, in community spaces and even outdoors. Aspects of practice that surround and support work with clients in these changing contexts and places are also revealed: different approaches to record-keeping, the nature of supervision, description of art therapy spaces and art materials, discussion of staff relationships, referrals, systemic issues, professional and regulatory requirements, research and Evidence-Based Practice all contribute to an almost palpable sense of what it’s like to actually be an art therapist in 21st Century Britain.

Details of art therapy education and pre-course learning requirements give those interested in becoming an art therapist a good sense of what it takes to enter training and become an art therapist. Case vignettes and lively description of sessions with different client groups – individually and in groups with both children and adults – bring clinical practice alive and give the reader a real feel of the interior of art therapy.

Add to this the still fascinating review of art and psychoanalysis and the reader has in their hands, or on their Kindle or iPad, a thoroughly good and highly informative read. - Andy Gilroy, Emeritus Reader in Art Psychotherapy, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

About the Author

Caroline Case is an experienced art therapist and child and adolescent psychotherapist working in private practice and as a clinical supervisor near Bristol, UK. She has published widely on her therapeutic work, with her books including Imagining Animals: Art, Psychotherapy and Primitive States of Mind (Routledge, 2005).

Tessa Dalley is an experienced art therapist who works in private practice and as a clinical supervisor. She is also a child and adolescent psychotherapist working in a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) team. She has published a number of books and articles on art therapy and is currently editor of the online journal ATOL: Art Therapy Online, and a reader for the Journal of Child Psychotherapy.

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