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Visual Art Therapy

18). In this approach it is the art that takes precedence since it requires the mastery of skills and materials (which are often completely unfamiliar at the outset of art therapy). But the practice of art does not, in itself, bring about a cure and no art therapist who works with the mentally ill "considers art therapy a possible substitute for psychotherapy in the more conventional sense" (Ulman, 2001, p. 18).

There are also instances, however, in which art therapy may be one of the modes employed with people who are not mentally ill, per se, but are emotionally maladjusted or lacking in self-esteem or in danger of serious depression. This is the case, for example, with people who have developed serious physical handicaps. The use of art therapy has been shown to have an enormous impact in many cases. The literature is replete with accounts from therapists about people who have suddenly experienced debilitating injuries that have, in part, been surmounted through the use of art therapy. Artist Lisa Fittipaldi, for example, lost most of her eyesight in early middle age. She can no longer see "color or distance, dimension or print," yet this former CPA turned to painting--an art she had never practiced before--as a means of maintaining a healthy grasp on life and avoiding despair over the loss of profession and pastimes (Fittipaldi, 2001). And Longman (1994) recounts the stories of two Native American artists who had been injured. The quadriplegic Ernie Pepion became a painter--employing a mechanically adjustable easel and an arm support. In his account of the experience Pepion said that his reaction to the prejudices he had faced--first because of race and then because of disability--was expressed in his art: "Painting allows me to be a person beyond the limitations of racial prejudice and disability" (quoted in Longman, p. 66). And Michael Naranjo, who was blinded by a grenade in Vietnam, described the process whereby h...

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Visual Art Therapy. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 20:39, December 22, 2014, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1304263593.html
 
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