Art Therapists as Intermediaries for Social Change
Keywords: social change, art therapy, nonviolent resistance, exhibits, empathy
AbstractAlthough many art therapists are proponents of social justice and advocate for their underserved clients, they may not think of art therapy as a change agent for communities or societal ills such as discrimination and inequality. In this paper a proposal to infuse art therapy with the political philosophies and practices of nonviolent resistance may bring to light how art therapists can be a tool for advancing both individual and community change. Social change begins with generating empathy for others. Reaching out to the community through facilitating art exhibits may be one way to heighten empathy for client-artists. Guided relational viewing is proposed as a theoretical principle to motivate art therapists to move from being a proponent of social justice to becoming an agent of social transformation.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).