Don’t look back in anger: Surviving as an art therapist, thirty years on

David Edwards


Slip inside the eye of your mind
Don't you know you might find
A better place to play (Noel Gallagher) [1]


This article started out in life as a short talk given at the University of Derby at the opening of an exhibition of art work by students on the art therapy MA training course. The theme of my talk – specified by my hosts – was ‘The future of art therapy’. It occurred to me at the time, and more so subsequently, that I probably wasn’t the best person to address this topic. Having trained as an art therapist in the early 1980s, I’m in my sixties now, so the prospect of retiring from clinical work in the foreseeable future is very much in my mind. As such I most definitely do not represent or embody the future of art therapy. Moreover, at my age one is – sometimes regretfully - inclined to look to the past rather than the future. And when I look to the past, to my professional past that is, I cannot help but feel I may very well have seen the best of what art therapy can be. Allow me to explain. 


[1] © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC; & 

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