Portrait Therapy
296 pages, 6 x 9
Paperback
Release Date:21 Sep 2017
ISBN:9781785922930
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Portrait Therapy

Resolving Self-Identity Disruption in Clients with Life-Threatening and Chronic Illnesses

Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Portrait therapy reverses the traditional roles in art therapy, utilising Edith Kramer's concept of the art therapist's 'third hand' to collaboratively design and paint their clients' portraits. It addresses 'disrupted' self-identity, which is common in serious illness and characterised by statements like 'I don't know who I am anymore' and 'I'm not the person I used to be'. 

This book explores the theory and practice of portrait therapy, including Kenneth Wright's theory of 'mirroring and attunement'. Case studies, accompanied by colour portraits, collages and prose-poems, provide insight into the intervention and the author highlights the potential for portrait therapy to be used with other client groups in the future.
This intriguing book turns the art therapy lens in the reverse direction - the art therapist painting portraits co-created with seriously ill clients, to help revalidate their self-identities. It is a fascinating book, thoroughly researched and well written. Marian Liebmann, art therapist

Susan M. D. Carr is an art therapist, artist, writer and researcher, with 12 years’ experience working in palliative care. She is an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Art Therapy, and is based in Swindon, UK.  

Part I: FOCUSING THE GAZE
1. Setting the Scene: Introducing Portraiture as a ‘Third Hand’ Intervention
2. Priming the Canvas: A Phenomenological Approach to Depicting Subjectivity
3. Selecting the Medium: Portraiture as a Therapeutic Tool

Part II: COLLABORATIVE CASE-STUDIES
4. Portrait Therapy as a Collaborative Intervention: Pain Me This Way!
5. Increasing the Patients’ Creative Capacity to Adapt to Illness
6. Mirroring and Attunement Through Portraiture: Intersubjective and Symbolic Ways of Knowing, Being, and Relating
7. Making Special, Making Meaning: Homelike-being-in-the-world and Ontological Security

Part III: PORTRAIT THERAPY PROTOCOL AND EVALUATION METHODS
8. A Therapist’s Manual: The Three Phases of Portrait Therapy
9. Making Connections: Evaluating Portrait Therapy
10. Afterword: Drawing Conclusions

Appendix 1: Portrait Reference Album
Appendix 2: Semi-structured End of Project
Interview Questions
References
Author biography
Subject Index
Author Index

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