Responsive Art Psychotherapy as a component of intervention for severe adolescent mental illness: a case study

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Fran Nielsen


In this paper the author aims to describe the development of Responsive Art Psychotherapy, an innovative multidirectional psychodynamic art therapy intervention. This was developed in the context of working alongside non-art therapists within a multi disciplinary team. Using clinical material from a detailed case study, the paper explores how the use of language can be bypassed through the contact made in and with the images. This is supported by recent research into neurobiological theory of trauma and patients’ incapacity to verbalise in the context of severe mental illness and distress.

Keywords: Response art making; art psychotherapy; countertransference; trauma & role of images; innovative practice.

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