Is The Key Of Healing Hidden Inside Art?

Is The Key Of Healing Hidden Inside Art?

12th EUROPEAN CONGRESS OF PSYCHOLOGY 2011

IS THE KEY OF HEALING HIDDEN INSIDE THE ART?

OLCAY GÜNER, AYŞE ESRA ASLAN

ARKABAHÇE Psychological Development, Training and Consulting & MARMARA University,

Istanbul, Turkey

INTRODUCTON

It is possible to use art for understanding human nature and healing. Art therapy is both very recent and old, so it is paradoxical. According to Rubin (2010), art therapy as a healer dates back to ancient times to cave paintings. On the other hand, art therapy is a young member of applied psychology. As cited by Rubin (2010), Elinor Ulman (1981) defined art therapy as the combination of terms ‘art’ and ‘therapy’.   Ulman (1981) identified art as “a mean to discover both self and the world to establish a relation between the two” and according to Ulman (1981) art is the “meeting ground of the inner and outer world”. Ulman (1981) also mentioned therapy as “procedures designed assist favorable changes in personality or in living that will outlast the session itself”

In literature, there are two different perspectives on well-being: Hedonism and eudaimonism. Hedonism takes gratification and happiness as a base for well-being, on the other hand eudaimonism focuses on meaning, self-realization and define well-being as functionality of individual (Ryan, 2001). Art therapy provides gratification by the function of art making and also it provides improvements in certain psychological areas to be fully functioning. Art as a tool provides pleasure and it is functional in both revealing a person’s problem and confronting him with it. Since the art object carries the effect of internal representations, it has major contributions to the dimension of ‘meaning’. Although art therapy is a popular psychotherapy method, there are few researches investigating its effectiveness.

 

Creative thinking

Methods used in art therapy go parallel with the steps of creative problem solving process. Aslan (2001) defines creativity as a cognitive ability, adopting original problem solving processes for original production with the help of intelligence. It may appear as a new, skill-based product and/or it may not be transformed to a product yet.

According to Alex Osborn, who developed the term ‘Creative Problem Solving’, there are three different steps of problem solving (Aslan, 2002). These steps are “definition of the problem”, “idea generation” that is about producing different methods of solution and “finding solutions” that involve evaluation. According to more recent researchers, creative problem solving process has five different steps; each of which consists of different modes of thought. These are shifting steps from divergent thinking to convergent thinking.

The present study focuses on how art therapists and clients define the art therapy, compares art therapy with creative problem solving process and aims to understand whether art therapists and clients perceive art therapy as therapeutic.

INTRODUCTON

It is possible to use art for understanding human nature and healing. Art therapy is both very recent and old, so it is paradoxical. According to Rubin (2010), art therapy as a healer dates back to ancient times to cave paintings. On the other hand, art therapy is a young member of applied psychology. As cited by Rubin (2010), Elinor Ulman (1981) defined art therapy as the combination of terms ‘art’ and ‘therapy’.   Ulman (1981) identified art as “a mean to discover both self and the world to establish a relation between the two” and according to Ulman (1981) art is the “meeting ground of the inner and outer world”. Ulman (1981) also mentioned therapy as “procedures designed assist favorable changes in personality or in living that will outlast the session itself”.

In literature, there are two different perspectives on well-being: Hedonism and eudaimonism. Hedonism takes gratification and happiness as a base for well-being, on the other hand eudaimonism focuses on meaning, self-realization and define well-being as functionality of individual (Ryan, 2001). Art therapy provides gratification by the function of art making and also it provides improvements in certain psychological areas to be fully functioning. Art as a tool provides pleasure and it is functional in both revealing a person’s problem and confronting him with it. Since the art object carries the effect of internal representations, it has major contributions to the dimension of ‘meaning’. Although art therapy is a popular psychotherapy method, there are few researches investigating its effectiveness.

Creative thinking

Methods used in art therapy go parallel with the steps of creative problem solving process. Aslan (2001) defines creativity as a cognitive ability, adopting original problem solving processes for original production with the help of intelligence. It may appear as a new, skill-based product and/or it may not be transformed to a product yet.

According to Alex Osborn, who developed the term ‘Creative Problem Solving’, there are three different steps of problem solving (Aslan, 2002). These steps are “definition of the problem”, “idea generation” that is about producing different methods of solution and “finding solutions” that involve evaluation. According to more recent researchers, creative problem solving process has five different steps; each of which consists of different modes of thought. These are shifting steps from divergent thinking to convergent thinking.

The present study focuses on how art therapists and clients define the art therapy, compares art therapy with creative problem solving process and aims to understand whether art therapists and clients perceive art therapy as therapeutic.

RESULTS

  1. Coding process was based on general categories of “Discovery, insight and action”. These three categories are the steps of Three-Stage Model of Helping (Hill, 2007; Danish, D’Augelli & Hauer, 1994).
  • First general category is the “discovery stage”. All definitions that can affect good therapeutic relations, emotions and ideas are included in this category.
  • Second general category is the “insight stage”. Art therapy definitions that can affect progression of therapeutic relations and affects individual’s cause and effect relations with his/her own problem are included in this category.
  • Third category is the “action stage”. Art therapy definitions that affect progression of good therapeutic relations and individual’s arousal are included in this category.
  • When psychotherapists defined art therapy by choosing adjectives from the list; they preferred “amusing, discovery provider, attractive” the most (f=11, %100); they preferred “safe, powerful, creative energy user, concentrating, soother, private, facilitator, amusing, deepening, releasing” the least (f=1, %9,09).
  • Clients mainly qualified art therapy as “discovery provider” (f=10, 100%) the most. They preferred “difficult, surprising, interesting, relaxing” (f=1, 10%) to define art therapy the least. Clients never related art therapy with “frightening, hurtful, sad, and amusing”(f=0).
  • Psychotherapists and clients commonly emphasized “discovery provider” the most and “difficult” the least.
  • At the second step, definitions of art therapy made by psychotherapists and clients are analyzed according to general categories depending on three-stage helping model.
  • Psychotherapists mostly mentioned “discovery” (f=67), they secondarily mentioned “insight acquisition” (f=61), and then they mentioned “action” (f=32) stages of art therapy when they define art therapy via choosing adjectives from the list.
  • At discovery stage, “amusing and discovery provider” (f=11, 100%) qualities of art therapy were emphasized. In insight acquisition stage, “amusing and surprising” (f=11, 100%) are the qualities of art therapy that were mostly emphasized. At action stage, “pleasurable and easiness” (f=10, 90%) were mostly emphasized qualities of art therapy. Table 1 presents analysis of Psychotherapist’s definitions of Art Therapy according to adjective list.
  • Clients were more likely to mention “insight” (f=30), then “discovery” (f=23) and then “action” (f=11) stage to define art therapy depending on the adjective list. At insight stage “discovery provider” (f=10, 100%) quality of art therapy was mostly preferred; at insight stage “surprising and amusing” (f=9, 90%) qualities of art therapy were emphasized. At action stage, “pleasurable” (f=6, 60%) quality of art therapy was emphasized the most.
  • Psychotherapists and clients commonly emphasized “action” stage that is third stage three-stage model of helping, the least to define art therapy depending on adjective list.
  • Secondly, participants were asked to compare art therapy to an object as a projective way of measuring art therapy definitions. Psychotherapists compared art therapy to 10 different objects including “mirror, crayon, chewy gum, submarine, photocopy machine, rainbow, kaleidoscope, clay, magic maker, and ocean”.
  • Clients on the other hand related art therapy to eight different objects including “computer, sea, wild card, camera, massage seat, play dough, big and colorful lamp shade and water” (Table 2).
  • Two of the participants from art therapy group compared art therapy to ‘crayon’; other therapist compared it to different kind of objects. Three of the participants from the client group identified art therapy with “dough” in a similar way, whereas other clients identified it with different objects.
  • When psychotherapists were asked to define art therapy through an object, they mostly mentioned “Colorfulness, transformer, facilitator (f=5, %45,45) qualities of art therapy the most and they mentioned the words “attractive, amusing, aesthetic, safe, richness of expression, container, private, encouraging, creative energy user, magical, flexible” (f=1 %9,09) the least.
  • When clients (N=10) were asked to define art therapy through objects, they mentioned the quality “facilitator” (f=7 %70) the most and they mentioned “flexible, amusing, private, facilitator, creative energy user, deep descending and permanency (f=1, %10)” the least.
  • Psychotherapists mentioned discovery stage (f=23), insight stage (f=22), action stage (f=17) at discovery stage through resemblance of objects. Similarly, clients mentioned discovery stage (f=19), insight stage (f=12), action stage (f=11) at discovery stage through resemblance of objects (Table 3)
  1. Psychotherapists and clients were asked to write a catchword as a third measuring tool to determine how they define art therapy. These catchwords were analyzed based on general categories and specific sub-dimensions of these categories. When psychotherapists defined art therapy with catchwords, they mentioned “facilitator” quality of art therapy (f=8, %72,72) the most and “Long-term efficacy, creative energy, aesthetic, reflective, magical and attractive’(f=1, %9,09) the least.
  • Client’s emphasized “facilitator” (f=5 %50) quality of art therapy the most and “transformer, amusing, richness in expression, privacy and creative energy” (f=1, %10) the least.
  • Psychotherapists emphasized “discovery (f=18), insight (f=20) and action (f=14) stage” through catchword writing at discovery stage. Clients mentioned discovery stage (f=12), insight stage (f=14), action stage (f=11) at discovery stage through catchword writing.
  • It is observed that psychotherapist and client group used 32 qualities to define art therapy via adjective list, object resemblance and catchword writing. Distribution of these qualities to general categories and specific sub dimensions is shown at Table 2.
  • Psychotherapists emphasized “discovery stage” (f=108) at all three questions but they also emphasized “insight stage” (f=103) with approximately similar values to define art therapy.
  • Clients emphasized “insight stage” (f=56) the most, but also they emphasized “discovery stage” (f=54) with similar values. Both therapists and clients emphasized action stage the least to define art therapy.
  • It is observed that psychotherapist and client group used 32 qualities to define art therapy via adjective list, object resemblance and catchword writing. Distribution of these qualities to general categories and specific sub dimensions is shown at Table 2.
  • Psychotherapists emphasized “discovery stage” (f=108) at all three questions but they also emphasized “insight stage” (f=103) with approximately similar values to define art therapy.
  • Clients emphasized “insight stage” (f=56) the most, but also they emphasized “discovery stage” (f=54) with similar values. Both therapists and clients emphasized action stage the least to define art therapy.

 

REFERENCE

Aslan E. (2002). Yaratıcı problem çözme. Örgütte kişisel gelişim içinde. Esra Aslan (editör) Ankara: Nobel Yayınları.

Buchalter,  S. I. (2009). Art therapy techniques and applications. Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Case, C. & Dalley, T. (1992). Handbook of art therapy. Great Britain: Taylor & Francis Routledge.

Danish, S. J., D’Augelli, A. R. & Hauer, A. L. (1994). Yardım becerileri temel eğitim programı. (Çev. Füsun Akkoyun). Ankara: Form Ofset.

Geray, H.(2004). Toplumsal araştırmalarda nitel ve nicel yöntemler. Ankara: Siyasal yayıncılık.

Hill, C.(2008), Helping Sclayls, Facilitating Exploration, Insight, and Action. Washington DC: American Pychological Association.

Keeney, B. (2009). The Creative therapist. The art of  awakening. A  Session. NY:  Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Moschini, L. B. (2005). Drawing the line art therapy with the difficult client. New Jersey:  John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Neuman, W. L. (2008). Analyzing qualitative data. In Social research methods:

Qualitative and quantitative approaches (3rd ed.) (pp. 418-441). Needham Heights.

Rogers, N. (1993).The Creative connection: Expressive Arts As Healing. USA:Science And Behavior Boks.

Rubin, J. A. (2010). Introduction to art therapy : Sources & Resources. NY: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Ryan, R. M. (2001). On happiness and human potentials: A review of researh on hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Annual Review of Psychology, 52,141-166.

Tavşancıl, E. T., Aslan, A. (2001) İçerik analizi ve uygulama örnekleri. İstanbul: Epsilon Yayınevi.

Ulman, E., & Levy, C. (Eds.). (1981). Art therapy viewpoints. New York: Schocken Press.

Yıldırım, A.,  Şimşek,H. ,  (2008). Sosyal bilimlerde nitel araştırma yöntemleri. 6. Baskı. Ankara: Seçkin yayınları.

 

Table 1. Analysis of Psychotherapist’s Definitions of Art Therapy according to Adjective List.

 

 

 

Psychotherapists

 

N=11 Clients N=10
General Categories Specific Sub-Dimension f % General Categories Specific Sub-Dimensions f %
Exploration Colorfulness 5 45,45 Exploration Flexible 1 10
Exploration Magical 2 18,18 Exploration Colorfulness 3 30
Exploration Flexible 2 18,18 Exploration Private 4 40
Exploration Attractive 1 9,09 Exploration Amusing 1 10
Exploration Amusing 1 9,09 Exploration Exploration 2 20
Exploration Aesthetic 1 9,09 Exploration Facilitator 7 70
Exploration Safe 1 9,09 Exploration Creative Energy 1 10
Exploration Richness of Source of Expression 1 9,09 Insight Deep Descending 1 10
Exploration Container 1 9,09 Insight Amusing 3 30
Exploration Private 1 9,09 Insight Insight 2 20
Exploration Facilitator 1 9,09 Insight Facilitator 1 10
Exploration Hopeful 1 9,09 Insight Creative Energy 1 10
Exploration Creative Energy User 1 9,09 Insight Persistency 1 10
Exploration Exploration 4 36,36 Insight Flexible 3 30
Insight Surprising 4 36,36 Action Facilitator 1 10
Insight Deep Descending 3 27,27 Action Transformer 6 60
Insight Insight 3 27,27 Action Private 1 10
Insight Not hurtful 2 18,18 Action Deep Ascending 2 20
Insight Magical 1 9,09 Action Creative Energy 1 10
Insight Amusing 1 9,09
Insight Flexible 1 9,09
Insight Aesthetic 1 9,09
Insight Safe 1 9,09
Insight Richness of Source of Expression 1 9,09
Insight Container 1 9,09
Insight Facilitator 1 9,09
Insight Hopeful 1 9,09
Insight Creative Energy User 1 9,09
Action Transformer 5 45,45
Action Facilitator 5 45,45
Action Aesthetic 1 9,09
Action Safe 1 9,09
Action Richness of Source of Expression 1 9,09
Action Container 1 9,09
Action Private 1 9,09
Action Hopeful 1 9,09
Action Creative Energy User 1 9,09

 

 

Table 2. Analysis of Psychotherapist’s and Client’s Object Comparisons according to Sub-Dimensions

No Psychotherapists

Objects

Specific Sub-Dimensions No Clients Objects Specific Sub-Dimensions
1 Mirror Transformer 1 Computer
Mirror Facilitator Computer Amusing
Mirror Discovery 2 Sea Deep Descendance
Mirror Insight Sea Facilitator
Mirror Private Sea Transformer
Mirror Colorfulness Sea Private
Mirror Deep Descendance Sea Discovery
2 Crayon Richness of Source of Expression 3 Dough Colorfulness
Crayon Transformative Dough Flexibility
Crayon Facilitator Dough Facilitate
Crayon Creative Energy User Dough Private
3 Chewing gum Flexibility Dough Insight Provider
Chewing gum Transformer Dough Colorfulness
Chewing gum Facilitator Dough Amusing
4 Submarine Not hurtful Dough Private
Submarine Deep Descendance Dough Transformer
Submarine Colorfulness Dough Flexibility
Submarine Discovery Dough Facilitator
Submarine Safe Dough Colorfulness
Submarine Amusing Dough Transformer
5 Photocopy Machine Discovery Dough Private
Photocopy Machine Insight Dough Persistency
Photocopy Machine Facilitator 4 Wildcard Amusing
Photocopy Machine Deep Descendance Wildcard Facilitator
6 Rainbow Colorfulness Wildcard joker Transformer
Rainbow Surprising 5 Camera Facilitator
Rainbow Container, common Camera Transformer
Rainbow Hopeful Camera Insight Provider
7 Kaleidoscope Colorfulness Camera Long-term efficacy
Kaleidoscope Discovery 6 Message Couch Flexibility
Kaleidoscope Surprising 7 Colorful Big Lampshade Creative Energy
Kaleidoscope Transformer Colorful Big Lampshade Facilitator
Kaleidoscope Magical Colorful Big Lampshade Discovery
Kaleidoscope Attractive 8 Water Transformer
8 Clay Flexible Water Long-term efficacy
Clay Transformer
Clay Insight
Clay Facilitator
Clay Surprising
9 Magic maker Magical
Magic maker Not hurtful
Magic maker Surprising
Magic maker Aesthetic
10 Ocean Container
Ocean Discovery
Ocean Creative Energy
Ocean Surprising
Ocean Deep Ascending

 

 

Table 3. Analysis of Psychotherapist’s and Client’s Object Comparisons according to General and Sub-Dimensional Categories

  Psychotherapists N=11 Clients N=10
General Categories Sub-Dimensions f % General Categories Sub-Dimensions f %
Exploration Amusing 11 100 Exploration Exploration Provider 10 100
Exploration Exploration Provider 11 100 Exploration Pleasurable 6 60
Exploration Attractive 10 90,9 Exploration Facilitator 3 30
Exploration Easy 10 90,9 Exploration Attractive 3 30
Exploration Pleasurable 10 90,9 Exploration Difficult 1 10
Exploration Frightening 4 36,36 Exploration Amusing 0 0
Exploration Sad 2 18,18 Exploration Sad 0 0
Exploration Difficult 2 18,18 Exploration Frightening 0 0
Exploration Safe 1 9,09 Insight Curiosity awakener 9 90
Exploration Powerful 1 9,09 Insight Amusing 9 90
Exploration Creative Energy User 1 9,09 Insight Pleasurable 6 60
Exploration Concentrating 1 9,09 Insight Facilitator 3 30
Exploration Soother 1 9,09 Insight Difficult 1 10
Exploration Private 1 9,09 Insight Surprising 1 10
Exploration Facilitator 1 9,09 Insight İnteresting 1 10
Insight Amusing 11 100 Insight Frightening 0 0
Insight Curiosity awakener 11 100 Insight Sad 0 0
Insight Pleasurable 10 90.9 Insight Hurtful 0 0
Insight Easy 10 90,9 Action Pleasurable 6 60
Insight Frightening 4 36,36 Action Facilitator 3 30
Insight Hurting 2 18,18 Action Difficult 1 10
Insight Sad 2 18,18 Action Relaxing 1 10
Insight Difficult 2 18,18 Action. Frightening 0 0
Insight Powerful 1 9,09
Insight Concentrating 1 9,09
Insight Surprising 1 9,09
Insight Soother 1 9,09
Insight Deepening 1 9,09
Insight Creative Energy User 1 9,09
Insight Safe 1 9,09
Insight Facilitator 1 9,09
Insight Releaser 1 9,09
Action Pleasurable 10 90,9
Action Easy 10 90,9
Action Frightening 4 36,36
Action Difficult 2 18,18
Action Safe 1 9,09
Action Facilitator 1 9,09
Action. Concentrating 1 9,09
Action Soother 1 9,09
Action Powerful 1 9,09
Action Creative Energy User 1 9,09

 

Table 4. Analysis of Psychotherapist’s and Client’s Catchword

  Psychotherapists

 

N=11 Clients N=10
General Categories Specific Sub-Dimensions f % General Categories Specific Sub-Dimensions f %
Exploration Facilitator 8 72,72 Exploration Facilitator 5 50
Exploration Colorfulness 2 18,18 Exploration Exploration 3 30
Exploration Exploration 2 18,18 Exploration Private 1 10
Exploration Amusing 2 18,18 Exploration Richness of Source of Expression 1 10
Exploration Magical 1 9,09 Exploration Amusing 1 10
Exploration Aesthetic 1 9,09 Exploration Creative Energy 1 10
Exploration Attractive 1 9,09 Insight Facilitator 5 50
Exploration Creative Energy 1 9,09 Insight Insight 4 40
Insight Facilitator 8 72,72 Insight Amusing 1 10
Insight Insight 4 36,36 Insight Creative Energy 1 10
Insight Deep Descending 2 18,18 Insight Richness of Source of Expression 3 30
Insight Amusing 2 18,18 Action Facilitator 5 50
Insight Magical 1 9,09 Action Recovery 3 30
Insight Aesthetic 1 9,09 Action Creative Energy 1 10
Insight Reflective 1 9,09 Action Richness of Source of Expression 1 10
Insight Creative Energy 1 9,09 Action Transformer 1 10
Action Facilitator 8 72,72
Action Transformer 3 27,27
Action Aesthetic 1 9,09
Action Creative Energy 1 9,09
Action Long-term efficacy 1 9,09

 

Yayımlandığı Tarih: 17 Haziran 2017