Back from the Margins: Strange Experiences and Art Therapy

Chris Wood


This paper considers how people with a diagnosis of psychosis are often marginalised in ways that influence both the environmental and psychological circumstances of their lives, and how these aspects of their lives are rarely discussed together. It also considers some of the ways the Service-User Movement; Outsider Art; and Art Therapy have contributed to helping people feel that they can move out of the margins and reclaim their lives. In order to do this, it discusses the historical and developing practice of Art Therapists in relation to people who have in their own language, “strange experiences”.

The paper acknowledges throughout that the language used to describe people with mental health problems is rightfully challenged by the Service-User Movement.

Keywords: Psychosis; Marginalisation; Service-User Movement; Outsider Art; Art Therapy. 

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