About Psychotherapy and the Arts
We are delighted to tell you about our new newsletter. Psychotherapy and the Arts has been the newsletter of the Psychotherapy and the Arts Special Interest Group (SIG) for the Society for Humanistic Psychology. Psychotherapy and the Arts was started over 10 years ago to establish a place for artists who were therapists or therapists who were artists or other from a variety of disciplines who appreciated the healing power of the arts. During the past 10 years, we have had a hard-working group of co-editors (Heather Hill, Larry Graber, Erika Hansen) and shared information about professional accomplishments, resources or upcoming events. We have sponsored events at APA's Annual Convention in the division's hospitality suite and been involved in activities like staging opening and closing rituals at conferences.
View our past newsletter issues.
Introduction to the Psychotherapy and the Arts newsletter and Special Interest Group (SIG):
Psychotherapy and the Arts newsletter has grown up. What started as a grassroots, homemade communication sheet has become an official, fully online newsletter. This is our first edition, with news about the new-co-editors and the submission process below.
Most important is our new collaborating with APA's Div. 10 (Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts). We’d like to thank their current president, Paul Sylvia, PhD, and president-elect, Mary Gregerson, PhD, as well as Div. 32's president, Donna Rockwell, PsyD, for their enthusiastic support and encouragement. We hope that this partnership between Div. 32 and Div. 10 will help bring an expansion of interest and collaboration among the many psychologists who are artists or interested in the connection between psychology and art.
Next, with help from APA, our format will change. The newsletter will be posted on the Div. 32 website as well as being sent to our Listserv. It will be available on a continual basis, with rolling submissions to it.
Finally, our editorial staff will now include Pamela J. McCrory, PhD, and Allyn Enderlyn, PhD, both active members of Divs. 10 and 32. They bring wide experience with the arts and special projects that will bring new levels of creativity to this newsletter.
Ilene A. Serlin, PhD, BC-DMT, Founder Psychotherapy and the Arts Special Interest Group and Newsletter
Pamela J. McCrory, PhD
Allyn Enderlyn, PhD
Psychotherapy and the Arts Special Interest Group has, since 2005, served to connect psychologists and allied professionals interested in the healing power of the arts. It began as a Special Interest Group (SIG) from Div. 32 (Society for Humanistic Psychology) with a focus on the therapeutic use of the arts. With over 200 members now, it offers a free e-newsletter published several times a year in which resources, reviews, recent creative works of members, upcoming conferences and organized events at APA promote the theory and practice of the creative arts therapies; the role of the arts in conveying humanity’s deepest hopes, fears and dreams; the art of living; and the art of psychotherapy. Membership in Div. 32 and Div. 10 is encouraged but not required.
The very act of living or of forging a meaningful and coherent life is a deeply creative act. Besides having an innate drive to create, human beings also have an innate drive to communicate and to symbolize. Art has throughout the ages carried the symbols of humankind’s highest dreams and deepest fears. Art is crucial for the therapeutic journey because it touches and also expresses the whole complex human person, including levels of mind, body and spirit. The arts can provide a diagnostic image of culture and the individual as well as often serving as a revolutionary path for freedom and transformation. Because the arts have given a vision of the human soul, art psychology is rooted in culture and the humanities. Art is associated with psychological and physical health and involves the physiology of the whole person. Art also provides access to multiple modes of intelligence (Gardner, 1993), thinking, communicating and problem solving. Aesthetic inquiry is a way of knowing through images, similar in structure to philosophical, psychological or spiritual inquiry.
Art can open us up to new creative possibilities and untapped powers of the human spirit. It expands our states of consciousness, helping us understand our waking reality, mindfulness, altered states and dreamtime. It connects us to the imagination and bridges the conscious and the unconscious mind. And in many cultures, art takes us to the sacred.