Art Therapy for Social Justice
Savneet K. Talwar
Art Therapy for Social Justice seeks to open a conversation about the cultural turn in art therapy to explore the critical intersection of social change and social justice. By moving the practice of art therapy beyond standard individualized treatment models, the authors promote scholarship and dialogue that opens boundaries; they envision cross disciplinary approaches with a focus on intersectionality through the lens of black feminism, womanism, antiracism, queer theory, disability studies, and cultural theory. In particular, specific programs are highlighted that re-conceptualize art therapy practice away from a focus on pathology towards “models of caring” based on concepts of self-care, radical caring, hospitality, and restorative practice methodologies. Each chapter takes a unique perspective on the concept of “care” that is invested in wellbeing. The authors push the boundaries of what constitutes art in art therapy, re-conceptualizing notions of care and wellbeing as an ongoing process, emphasizing the importance of self-reflexivity, and reconsidering the power of language and art in trauma narratives.
"Scholars, researchers, educators, and practicing art therapists require a new paradigm. By centralizing the voices of women and art therapists of color, Talwar complicates who art therapy is practiced by and who art therapy is for. Included are theoretical perspectives from a range of disciplines providing a foundation to move the field forward." Yasmine J. Awais, MAAT, ATR-BC, ATCS, LCAT, LPC, Assistant Clinical Professor, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University "Talwar brings together the voices of art therapists who give shape and meaning to the 'cultural turn' in art therapy. Their radical intersections offer colleagues across the arts therapies a language with which to claim and encourage practices centered on social justice, self-reflexivity, care, and wellbeing." Nisha Sajnani, PhD, RDT-BCT, Associate Professor and Director, Drama Therapy Program, New York University "Talwar's book is timely-art therapy urgently needs to expand notions of helping beyond the therapy room. She and the contributing authors challenge traditional models of pathology and 'art as healing,' urge practitioners to question theories and practices that support unjust systems, and motivate the construction of new models of care that examine structures of oppression impacting those we serve. This is inspiring and passionate scholarship and some of the best writing on social justice I've seen." Donna Kaiser, PhD, past Executive Editor, Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association
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