The lectures informing us about the dissertation were helpful as a starting point. At first I was very apprehensive about choosing a topic because of its importance and the fact we have to still enjoy the topic in a year to come. I didn’t jump straight into deciding, or reading because I wanted to make a decision that is right for me and not just a quick and pressured choice. As I started picking out topics that I am passionate about, it became obvious what I should be writing about; Art Therapy. As soon as I started with this, I was given a few suggestion books to find in the Library. I didn’t know much about art therapy- I have a psychological background knowledge but never applied to arts, so I was a bit nervous about not knowing anything. The books I got out were very helpful to give me a relatively good understanding of the ways in which art therapy is performed and the requirements therapists need to bear in mind when dealing with creative arts. However, when I’ve gone to find more books, I’ve struggled. I found that most books I was looking for were only available at Cyncoed or just weren’t there.
There are many different ways and opinions as to how therapy should be performed, in my dissertation I’m going to explore these and explain why I believe certain techniques are most successful for art therapy. I have always had a deep interest in psychologies and in particular the Unconscious mind. My mother is a psychotherapist so I have been brought up being aware of how psychology is omnipresent, and always wanted to learn more about peoples stories and how they express themselves. However, art and creativity is everywhere too. I’m applying my keen interest in the unconscious and psychological knowledge to art and how this can be portrayed by using visual art.
I also studied art in the unconscious mind for my field project. I really enjoyed this project, and I think that what I have learnt not only can be applied to my dissertation but it has affected the way I see and think about everyday life.
For me this subject is important because I have first hand experience of being unable to openly speak about things- art therapy is different to other therapies because it doesn’t solely rely on talking. The act of creating art is therapeutic but also the therapist can observe body language, their art style, the changes in material, the final product etc. There are so many aspects in art that can explain and explore the mind of the client.
I think self understanding is the most important part of therapy and I think using art is the best way to achieve this. When a person is creating an art piece, they have a whole new experience which only they feel. They can reflect and learn upon this experience but also learn after with the therapist. In my dissertation, I am going to be using dreams analysis to explore the unconscious mind and how it manifests itself.
I have found that since researching art therapy, my own art work has started to change slightly. I have become more consciously aware of my unconscious showing itself, allowing me to reach deeper.