This is a topic that has become increasingly central to my well-being over the years. Initially, the focus had been on applying arts to frame goals and achievements, but over time the emphasis shifted toward art as a counterweight to the acceleration of daily techno-stress we all seem to be experiencing (see our recent discussion on the theme of “always on” for more detail).
As I researched the subject, at first I struggled to find the right search terms to inform the suggested reading list. Knowing how much patient-generated artwork I’ve seen at hospitals and clinics, I finally realized there’s an entire discipline focused on this called Art Therapy of which I knew nothing about.
Several of the items listed below came from those searches; however, the genesis of the topic for me was more spiritual if not more practical. There are two additional threads woven here: 1) art (and more broadly all the arts, for example I consider playing improv piano alone a form of communion) as integrating the creative and logic to recapture the whole of being that was always there; 2) art as a powerful counterweight to how I spend my working day focused on managing complex technology projects, that offer precious little wiggle room to apply the creative arts.
One of our discussion group members suggested we bring drawing tools and materials, so we can “draw the talk” so to speak, when we get together to discuss this topic in a couple of weeks. I can’t think of a more uplifting way to spend a Saturday morning! Here’s the suggested reading list below:
- Book: Art as Therapy – Alain de Botton, John Armstrong
- Book: Art Heals: How Creativity Cures the Soul – by Shaun McNiff
- Book: Creative Healing : How to Heal Yourself by Tapping Your Hidden Creativity – Michael Samuels, Mary Rockwood Lane
- Article: Why do humans make art? – Psychology Today
- Article: What are the health benefits of being creative? – Medical News Today
- Article: The puzzling way that writing heals the body – BBC
- Post: Creative Arts and Consciousness – Arts and Healing
- Article: Art Therapy and Digital Technology: Digital Art Therapy – Psychology Today
- Article: Art Therapy – It’s not an Art Class – Psychology Today
- Explore WikiArt web site (everything you ever wanted to know – one of my favorite sites)
- Healing power of art – list of many organizations
- The Healing Power of Art Exhibition (artist websites focused on healing)