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Mindful Art Therapy


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments. Preface. Part I. What is Mindfulness?. 1. Introduction. 2. Mindfulness Theories and Approaches. Part II. Mindful Art Therapy - A Method for Practice. 3. Mindfulness Processes. 4. Art Therapy Perspectives. 5. Inside a Mindful Art Therapy Session. Part III. Metaphorically Speaking. 6. Painting Through Depression. 7. Good Grief. 8. Voice of Reason. 9. Silence is Golden. 10. Contemplating Panic. Part IV. Clinical Applications in Mindful Art Therapy. 11. Sentient Being. 12. Sense and Sensibility. Chapter 13. Complementary Methods. 14. Mindful-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for Wellness. 15. ACT. 16. Positive Psychology. Part V. Developing a Mindful Art Therapy Practice. 17. On Becoming a Mindful Art Therapist. 18. A Note About Music. Tables and Figures. References.

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Innovative approaches demonstrate how traditional Eastern wisdom can be integrated into modern art therapy and psychotherapeutic practice

About the Author

Barbara Davis is a psychologist and art therapist in private practice specializing in mindful art therapy. She is an international member of the American Art Therapy Association. Barbara has undertaken art therapy research at Monash University, Victoria Australia, including a Masters (art and cognitive intervention for test anxiety) and Doctorate (phenomenological art therapy with international students). In 2000 she received a Glaxo Wellcome International prize on behalf of the Jean Hailes Foundation for innovative education using traditional art to inform indigenous health promotion in the west Kimberley region of Australia. Barbara currently divides her time between private practice, academic supervision and developing mindful and creative programs for wellbeing. She lives in Melbourne, Australia.


As a practicing therapist this book is of great interest to me. Barbara takes me through each chapter giving me the confidence to practice mindful art therapy and offer this mode to the appropriate clients. This is an exciting possibility for a therapist who has been working in the field for twenty five years and I want to thank her for it! -- Marilyn Cobain, Private Practitioner Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society
Barbara Jean Davis is a master quilter of intentional mindfulness, art therapy and collaborative partnerships. In "Mindful Art Therapy" she creates her "masterpiece quilt" - a unique "nine-block" design for facilitating openness and engaging clients in processing experiences and developing insights. It is an inspiring resource destined to become a gold standard for practice. -- Linda Thiessen, Founding President, British Columbia Artists in Healthcare Society

I congratulate Barbara Jean Davis on her excellent book, which makes suitable reading for all health professionals and the public. It provides health professionals who work closely with patients suffering mental illness, a safe therapeutic tool for healing as part of their overall management plan. Barbara takes art therapy to a new level, by empowering patients to create art from a state of mindfulness and tap deeply into their deep felt emotions that may be difficult to express, their own inner wisdom and cultivate creativity!
This book inspires me to refer more patients for art therapy and to take it on for myself as a means of tapping into my own creativity through mindfulness!

-- Associate Professor Dr Vicki Kotsirilos, Medical Practitioner, Department of Rehabilitation, Nutrition and Sport, La Trobe University and General Practitioner
Dr Davis demonstrates how a number of theoretical approaches combined with mindfulness exercises, guided imagery and art making can be adapted to the interests and concerns of a client in order to develop a beneficial approach to treatment. This book is of practical importance for students and clinicians alike. -- Mary B. Safrai, ATR-BC, Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, Reiki Practitioner
Congratulations BJ Davis for producing a rich resource of theory and research related to integrating art into psychological practice. Personal reflections and the use of case studies wonderfully demonstrate how mindfulness and art therapy enable clients to confront emotional challenges, acquire acceptance and become empowered. -- Dr Barbara Jones, PhD, MAPS, Clinical and Educational Psychologist
Dr Davis persuasively argues for the value of mindfulness practices within the process of phenomenological-oriented art therapy. Clear theoretical perspectives are supported by a range of practical examples, helpfully illustrating the manner in which mindfulness can heighten awareness, expressiveness and therapeutic outcomes for the distressed client. -- Maryjane Morris, BA, Grad Dip Psych
Dr Davis provides a solid, well-documented case for the use of mindfulness and art therapy. She clearly explains the synergy between the two that makes the combination such an effective way of working with clients. From this base of understanding, Dr. Davis supplies the tools within the framework of different therapeutic approaches that can immediately and easily be used with clients. -- Joyce D. Bellish, MS, ATR-BC, NY State Licensed Art Therapist (LCAT)
I am always eager to identify new methods that can assist people to understand themselves so that they can effect their own positive change. I appreciate that, in her book, Barbara expresses methods that allow people to be mindfully aware of their deepest selves through art. Barbara allows the individual to work through the processes of identifying, expressing and exploring emotion through art and mindfulness. What a lovely creative process. Barbara's insights could lead the way to more work in this area. -- Bernadette Bomford, Psychologist
This fascinating book comprises both art and science and the personal. Barbara canvasses the science of mindfulness and its current place in psychology practice. As an art therapist by nature as well as practice, Barbara has sought to elaborate on how mindfulness can enhance art therapy practice. The art work produced by her clients and how these changed over time illustrate the expansive nature of Barbara's approach. -- Professor Denise Charman, Formerly Head of School of Psychology, Counselling and Psychotherapy, The Cairnmillar Institute

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