Art for women’s sake: understanding feminist art therapy as didactic practice re-orientation

Wright, K. and Wright, T. Art for women’s sake: understanding feminist art therapy as didactic practice re-orientation. [Video]

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Catalysed through the coming together of feminist theories that debate ‘the politics of difference’, and through a reflection on the practices of art psychotherapy, this presentation seeks to illuminate the progressive and empowering nature that creative applications have for better mental health. It also seeks to critically expose and evaluate some of the marginalisation work that is also done within art psychotherapy practices, ultimately proposing a developmental practice tool that will raise awareness, challenge traditional ways of thinking and doing, and provide a foundation for more inclusive practices.

Feminist art psychotherapy has been about raising awareness of the oppression of women in society and the practice of forging social justice for women through a recognition of the connectedness between the personal, social, and political consciousness; but those ideals have largely been located as advocating the middle class white Western second wave feminist movement of the 1960s-70s. Since this time critical race feminists have been pivotal in exposing the racist tendencies endemic in the second wave feminist movement. Their challenges have led to an understanding of feminism being about the intersectionality of social divisions grounded by relationships of power. Whilst some work has been done to re-orientated arts based psychotherapies in more critical reflection, this is sparse and lacks the momentum of third wave feminisms that seek to broaden the feminist struggle.

The presentation has three main parts. Firstly, a contextualisation of art therapy and third wave feminisms, and how those can work together towards better praxis. Secondly, there will be presentation of a newly developed practitioner tool that art therapists can utilise to evaluate their current and on-going practice towards one of greater inclusivity and better reflexivity. Thirdly, the presentation audience will be invited to undertake a creative activity, most probably working with clay, to offer a form of service user experience. This activity will involve the probably use of a narrated visualisation, along with other resources (books, images, poems etc.), which has been adapted using the newly developed practitioner tool to demonstrate how it can be put to effective use. There is no evaluation, analysis or interpretation of what participants produce, nor any expectations that anything is produced. It must be stressed that this activity is not psychotherapy. It is simply an arts based creative space that offers an opportunity for the audience to gain insight into the service user perspective, and to explore the potential of the practitioner tool.

Finally, in conclusion there will be a drawing together of what in feminist art psychotherapy has been possible, what is still possible, and with further alliances, what could still yet be possible.

Item Type: Video
Uncontrolled Keywords: Art Psychotherap;, feminist; intersectionality; critically conscious praxis
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman > HQ1101 Women. Feminism
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0435 Psychiatry > RC0475 Therapeutics. Psychotherapy
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Wellbeing > England Centre for Practice Development
Depositing User: Dr Toni Wright
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2016 08:28
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 08:28

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00