The Ritual of Los Dias De Los Muertos and Community Art Therapy.

Justine Brown, Christine Kerr


This article explores a possible connection between Los Dias de los Muertos, cultural community art-making, group dynamics, drive theory and art therapy. The position that this article advances is that community and cultural rituals serve a purpose for the art therapist. These cultural rituals may operate as a “third hand” or facilitate sublimation, therein directing emotional discharge as well as, eliciting creativity and group cohesiveness for the community at large. These possible connections are relevant for the cross-cultural art therapist, in that the power of community art making appears to provide a creative cultural outlet as evidenced by the celebration of Los Dias de los Muertos in Mexico. This cultural outlet may enhance kinship and cultural group cohesiveness.

Key words: art making, art therapy, community, drive theory, grief, group dynamics, healing, ritual, sublimation, symbolism.

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