The art of connecting: an exploration of art-based attunement in art psychotherapy

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Noa Fellous
Jonathan Isserow


This article explores the concept of attunement from its initial experience within the dyadic mother-infant experience to the art-therapeutic relationship. It suggests that the three-way relationship characterizing the art-therapeutic work lends itself to communication within which shared experience and in turn, shared meaning and a sense of self, can be gained. Through a case example and a literature review, the role of the art and the vitality affects inherent in use of art materials as facilitators of this capacity to share, are brought to focus. Drawing mainly on psychological, psychoanalytic and child developmental perspectives, the potential part taken by the therapist and his limitations are examined.

Keywords: attunement, cross-modal communication, primary and secondary subjectivity, dyadic and triadic communication, vitality affects 

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