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Art Heals: How Creativity Cures the Soul Paperback – November 16, 2004


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Art Heals: How Creativity Cures the Soul + Art Therapy Sourcebook (Sourcebooks) + Art Is a Way of Knowing
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala (November 16, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590301668
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590301661
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #182,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Shaun McNiff remains first and foremost an ally of the soul. Here he offers us a stunning array of entry points into the creative process. We learn how to transform the most mundane aspects of life through artistic encounters and to engage with our most painful challenges creatively."—Pat B. Allen, Ph.D., ATR, instructor at the school of the Art Institute of Chicago and author of Art Is a Way of Knowing

"Art Heals restores the therapeutic imagination to its central place in human life. The creative energy of this book will be recognized by all those who have been touched by the healing power of the arts. It is a masterly work by a master in the field of creative and expressive arts therapies."—Stephen K. Levine, Dean of the Doctoral Program in Expressive Arts: Therapy, Education, Consulting, at The European Graduate School

"Shaun McNiff challenges us through these remarkable essays not only to take on the role of artist and dare to create our most compelling images, but also to dialogue with them and by doing so, to engage in a process of healing the inevitable wounds of being human. In a moment in history when the images most available to us are the most horrifying and numbing, McNiff offers a stunning antidote."—Robert Landy, Ph.D., RDT/BCT, Professor of Educational Theatre and Drama Therapy, New York University

"Reading Art Heals is like attending a retrospective exhibition of a master artist, with its careful selection, critique, and contemplation of McNiff's original ideas and guiding images. In refining and reimagining these ideas in the context of today, McNiff brings a fresh vision to his work and offers a valuable answer to the increasingly incoherent fragmentation of mental health care."—Lynn Kapitan, Ph.D., ATR-BC, Associate Professor of Graduate Art Therapy of Mount Mary College and author of Re-enchanting Art Therapy

About the Author

Shaun McNiff is internationally recognized as a founder and leading figure in the arts and healing field. University Professor at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he is past president of the American Art Therapy Association and the author of several other books including Art As Medicine, Trust the Process, and Creating with Others .

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Richard Szponder on January 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The creative process, inherent in every one of us, has the potential to do so much more than produce visually stimulating paintings, beautiful music, exciting film, or any of the other expressive products lumped into the category of art. The creative process itself calls upon the innermost human emotions and draws from the infinite well of natural and spiritual healing capabilities. With Art Heals: How Creativity Cures the Soul, Shaun McNiff, a pioneer in the profession and research of art therapy, has combined several decades' worth of essays and contemplations regarding his experiences in the clinical world of art therapy.

Art Heals is not for the layperson, and this is immensely disappointing. Although at times McNiff appears headed toward non-professional explanations of the powerful impact of art's healing aspects, he too often drifts back to speaking directly to those involved in professional art therapy, citing clinical examples of patient recovery and explaining in great detail the aspects of establishing a safe studio conducive to therapeutic discovery. McNiff could have done so much more had he spoken directly to artists and non-artists alike regarding art's capabilities of healing not only one's self but also others.

Intriguing are McNiff's comparisons of art and the creative process to topics of new age and mystical interest. Although he clearly distinguishes his comparisons as metaphors only, it is hard to ignore such direct notations as "images as angels," "aesthetic meditation," "artistic auras," and "connections to shamanism," all topics of deep interest to McNiff woven throughout the essays and consistent across the decades of his work. In shamanic culture, it was thought that dis-ease was brought about by the loss of the soul from the body.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Maria C. M. Brando on March 11, 2009
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As a psycho-oncologist and art therapist I recommend this book. Like the author said " the healing through art is about living in tune with the creative spirit". The most important clue is the process. An indispensable reading for those who work with art and healing process.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Anne M. Bennett on June 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
Here's the skinny on this book: if you believe that art has the power to heal, you need to read this book. If you use art as a tool with any population for personal expression, healing or self-growth, you need to read this book. The bottom line is that art does heal. Creativity does move us forward on our personal journeys towards wholeness, and this book offers powerful recognition of these indisputable facts! --- by Anne Marie Bennett, SoulCollage Facilitator and Facilitator Trainer. I also recommend SoulCollage: An Intuitive Collage Process for Individuals and Groups
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Francoise Monnereau on October 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
Excellent book when you work with an art group, especially when you focus on the emotional healing,allowing us to dare to create our most compelling images, and also to dialogue with them.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jane Parks on July 5, 2009
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This is an extremely well written book on a fascinating topic. Mc Niff writes poetically and succinctly at the same time. A must have for anyone who is seriously interested in the relationship between healing and creativity!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Linda W Brown on February 27, 2013
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I am a firm believer that art heals and teach wherever I go, but I felt healing for myself as I went through the pages of this book. Highly sensitive and informative.
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