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5 Best Books On Art Therapy. A Must Read

books on art therapy

5 Best Books On Art Therapy. A Must Read

“There is no ‘must’ in art because it’s free”.

Since the onset of human civilisation, art and artists have played a profound role in making communication easier. Had there been no art, life would’ve been a picture with only black and white colours.

Art is now no longer confined to only a painting or a sketch, it has taken umpteen forms. And the appreciation and acceptance which art forms have been receiving are tremendous and applaudable. People indulge in this creative action because it gives a sense of solace to the mind. But did you know that with art therapy art can act as a therapist too? 

A few authors have done a great help to us by writing art therapy books, and in this article, we bring you the 5 Best Books on Art Therapy. If you are looking for a career scope in art therapy, then this article will art therapy books online is your saviour. Read on to know more about becoming an art therapist and pursuing a career in the same. 

Book 1: The Art Therapy Sourcebook, By Cathy Malchiodi

art therapy best books

Art Therapy is a process whose main aim is to help people of all age groups to communicate and understand emotions, relationships, perceptions, attitudes, and interests of self and other people through activities consisting of art. It has played an integral role in treating people undergoing emotional trauma, stress, and grief. Art Therapy has acted as a supplement to pain and symptom management to relate better with psychological distress and encourage self-growth, self-esteem issues, and self-realisation.

The Art Therapy Sourcebook is a practical guide - one of the most renowned art therapy books - for people who wish to use art to understand their purpose in life, in a simple yet effective way. It begins with information on important information about one’s inner consciousness and lets the reader travel on a journey towards understanding the interchange between human emotions and artistic creations.

Book 2: Art is a Way of Knowing, by Pat Allen

art therapy books

One of the most profound art therapy books for therapists, this one explains how creating art, giving form to the imagination and creativity which take birth in one’s mind, dreams, and daily routine is a spiritual practice. Through this activity, knowledge takes the form of wisdom. This book promises encouragement to every artist who is ready to explore art-making in the process of self-discovery.  It also suggests practical instructions on materials, methods, activities, and specific ways to:

  • An attempt to connect with others by sharing art.
  • Identification and release of painful memories.
  • Recognising patterns and themes in one’s life.
  • Discover a personal myth.
  • Combination of journaling and image-making. Practising the ancient and known skill of active imagination.

This book is a beautifully woven story of the writer’s journey as a student, art therapist, teacher, wife, mother, and above all, an artist. It’s an intimate story of a woman who discovered a sagacious and healing connection with her soul through art-making. 

Book 3: Child Art Therapy by Judith Rubin

books on art therapy

A classic since 1978, Judith Aron Rubin’s Child Art Therapy is known for its beautiful concept of conducting art therapy with children, primarily. This is a must-have in your art therapy books pdf collection. Even after so many years, this book still stands as a reference for mental health professionals who teach art into their practice. Today, this book comes with a DVD that illuminates various art therapy techniques in a practical therapy framework. It serves as a guide to train, inform and inspire a new generation of art therapists and those wanting to introduce art therapy into their profession.

The book depicts how to:

  • Set the scenarios for growth, obtain progress, and goal making for therapy.
  • Work with healthy and differently-abled children. 
  • Guidance to parents through art and play. 
  • Understanding how and why art therapy works.

This book provides several case studies from the author’s years of practice, using valuable techniques and activities descriptively. All this adds to the texture of how to explore art therapy via the real world of our children’s experience.

The book is thus a comprehensive guide for learning, practising, and refining child art therapy.

Book 4: Trust the Process: An Artist’s Guide to Letting Go, By Shaun McNiff.

art therapy

Be it any form of art, a painting, music, dance, stage performances, or our lives, you’re required to act with intelligence. This is one part of the process of creation. If we trust the process, it’ll surprise us pleasantly that there is a solution to every problem. Every problem is a solution in disguise. It can help us in rectifying our mistakes and failures creatively.

There’s beauty and magic to every process. Selfish acts and ego cannot be in control here. You can never know where you ought to be and where you are destined to be. This book throws light on this never-changing question. 

When everything looks like there is no hope at all and nothing seems to be going nowhere, trust the process.

In the words of Yoga Journal, the instructions and insights in this 'artist's guide to letting go' can lead you to creative heights and depths no matter what your medium.

Book 5: Art Therapy Techniques and Applications, By Susan Buchalter

art therapy techniques

Art therapy techniques and applications contain an original composite of therapeutic goals and provocative ideas that art therapists can use with various clients.

Innovative suggestions and easily implementable plans fill up the pages of this book. From brief warm-ups to stretching the imagination. These range from collage and mask creations to assisting the expression of mood.  From guidance on combining modalities such as art, metaphors and movement, mindfulness exercises, to using computer programs to enhance art therapy projects.

Clear and concise, this is an imperative reference guide for the therapist who wants to improve focus, develop problem-solving skills, and add creativity to their group work. This book will appeal to art therapists, art therapy students, professors, counsellors, and social workers.

Final Words...

You’d never have realised that art and crafts help get rid of stress in one’s life. Its therapy-like functionalities help create a sense of calmness which is the most critical ingredient to a peaceful life in today’s fast-paced life. 

Art therapy has a whole plethora of good things in it that go a long way in significantly raising an individual’s standard of life. Also, it serves as an excellent platform for you to grow as a career option. An art therapist is a field that shall gain healthy momentum for success and these art therapy books to read will definitely help your process.