What have I done well in my essay?
My dissertation is an interesting subject because the definition and ideas behind it was still somewhat unknown and there are many approaches which can be explored to try to find an answer. Many psychologists have expressed their own ideas based on the knowledge already known as well as their own experience of the subject. I was really interested in investigating a range if different psychologists and explore their approaches because it would help to broaden my own knowledge of the topic. It was really interested especially the views of Kramer and Naumburg because of how they perceive art therapy. Whether ‘art is therapy’ or a factor under psychotherapy is a debate which I have investigated in my dissertation because they are two views which present different ideologies. Each idea is bias to itself but having looked into them I believe they both hold strong factors which strengthen the definition of art therapy. The broadness of the definition is what I believe makes art therapy a fascinating subject to have picked for my dissertation. I wanted to explored a range of psychologists including the two above as well as Sigmund Freud and Elinor Ulman. The really interesting part about most of these theorist is, they are also artists who have either experienced the ‘powers of art’ or have seen the effects all those around them. The different experiences and study range in all ages, abilities and cultures which makes the subject more diverse.
As well as exploring these ideologies from psychologists, I also wanted to explore past and present artists who have suffered with mental illness and had/have evidenced it in their work. The reason for this chapter of the dissertation was to give evidence for the subject and to explore the different ways different artist have express their feelings and emotions. I wanted to include real examples of the topic and provide some supporting evidence for the different uses and ways of showing it. Their artwork paints a picture for the audience and conveys a range of emotions. I think this is interesting because it is evident in the work where they gain their inspiration from and how they are trying to make said inspiration visual. The visual depiction helps the painter, sculptor, to create the emotions and to almost give them an identity. I decided to used four different artists in the piece, past and current artists because I think it gave a wide enough variety of different people with totally different experiences. Van Gogh simply conveyed his mental state at the time in his paintings and choice colours, tones, shapes within the painting which he felt were right at the time. Tracey Emin however, using art as a reminder for her reckless antics in her life. The reminders are not there to bring back that moment on time but to express the importance of remembering the good and the bad times in your life.
What would I do in the future to improve my essay?
I want to continue exploring the subject by researching more psychologists, art therapists and artists who may not necessarily express they are using art as therapy but, who I think could be. I will also be carrying out work experience which will help me to understanding the subject more and have first hand involvement in a therapeutic setting. In the future I want to research the work of Naumburg and Kramer because I believe their different approach hold interesting and very relevant ideas. This will also open me up to more researchers and expanding the knowledge on the topic. By obtaining more information, I feel it will help me with different clients and enable me to adapt my guidance depending on the client. Whether I want to approach the client in a more ‘psychotherapeutic’ way or to focus on the idea that the art making itself is therapeutic. The more detailed exploration of psychologists will help me in the future with my own career and give me the base line to potentially publish my own ideas which could be the basis for someone else.