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Self-mutilation & Art Therapy: Violent Creation

by Diana Milia - £25.00  Jessica Kingsley Publishers (2000)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9781853026836 | ISBN 10: 1853026832

Examines the effect of art therapy interventions with clients who harm their bodies. The author's starting point is the definition of self-mutilation itself. In many cultures, self-mutilation is incorporated into sacrificial rituals as a means of healing the whole society. Body modifications such as scarification and tattoing are used in rites of purification, healing and maturity. Diana Milia draws out these aspects of self-mutilation, informing them with theories from psychoanalytic literature, to explain how art therapy can help patients who self-harm. She argues that using art as intervention supports the self-mutilating person's preference for ritualised symbolic action and their need to create transitional objects. The creative process provides an arena for the discharge and mastery of aggressive impulses and develops self-control, all of which are crucial in the treatment of self-mutilating behaviours. Milia describes examples from her own clinical experience and includes extended case studies. She analyses art therapy sessions and the process and content of artwork.

(Price & availability last checked: March 2018)

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In booklists: Self Harm, Art Therapy,
In categories: Health & Wellbeing, Arts & Creativity,

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