Therapeutic Qualities of Clay-work in Art Therapy and Psychotherapy

Published: 16 Jun 2021
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The aim of this article is to identify and define the diag- nostic and therapeutic qualities of clay-work in contemporary conceptualization (attachment theory, object relation, and psychoanalytic theory). Three central features of clay-work are highlighted: (1) procedural expression through touch, move- ment, and the three-dimensional aspect; (2) the reflection of construction and deconstruction processes; and (3) the regres- sion process. The authors differentiate six therapeutic factors that emerged from a review of the literature: facilitating expression of emotions, catharsis, rich and deep expressions, verbal communication, revealing unconscious material, and concretization and symbolization. Short case examples of ther- apeutic processes are described to illustrate these ideas.

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Authors: Michal Sholt, and Tami Gavron

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