RE-IMAGINING ART THERAPY
Imagination is often associated with the art-making aspect of art therapy, with encouraging the patient’s imagination and fantasy, as a preliminary to making an image. Yet imagination is also involved in the reception of art-works, both in the world of art and that of art therapy. Furthermore, imagination is at work in our perception of our clients and of the processes they engage in. All this depends on a view of fantasy and imagination as primary and inescapable elements of mental life. Yet art therapy literature does not often make much reference to them as such. Why is this, and how might their use work out in practice? I reckon that a variety of imaginative practices is central and fundamental to art therapy, and that this should be reflected in our thinking, and in the kind of language we use, first to ourselves as a profession, and then to others.