Tapestry of Cultural Issues in Art Therapy

Working with people from different cultural backgrounds presents practical and theoretical problems for art therapists, as well as the opportunities represented by a medium which crosses linguistic and cultural barriers. In this volume, professionals engaged in art therapy discuss aspects of practice which are affected by an environment of increasing cultural diversity. Some contributions examine the problems faced by members of ethnic minorities who are caught between assertion of their cultural identities and assimilation into a different social milieu, and the significance of the racial identity and cultural assumptions of the art therapist working with them. Others explore the effect that treating clients from other cultures has had on them, and how they have dealt with the feelings of loss, helplessness and guilt experienced when helping refugees who have suffered traumatic events in their native countries. Each chapter represents a synthesis of the scholarship and the clinical experience of its author, and the book as a whole balances case studies with academic research. While articulating the need for more cultural diversity among practitioners, all the contributors feel that contact with other traditions has enriched them as well as their clients.
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