Art therapy is a type of therapeutic technique presenting the belief that creative expression can nurture mental health.
Art therapy is well described by The American Art Therapy Association as an important step towards mental health. It is the process of creating art for the betterment of mental, physical, and emotional wellness.
Art therapy is based on a simple idea that the creative process of art-making is healing and life-enhancing. It is a potent form of communication of thoughts, feelings, and experiences. It makes use of the creative ideology which is present within every individual to promote self-expression, growth, conflict resolution, emotional reparation, and transformation.
I have listed the top seven art therapy books in my article below.
Superhero Therapy: Mindfulness Skills to Help Teens and Young Adults Deal with Anxiety, Depression, and Trauma
By Janina Scarlet
Dr. Scarlet discusses therapy and counseling by using superheroes as the main point to teach about various issues of mental health. She also teaches how to apply counseling techniques and effective coping skills. She uses the story of several original characters to portray the techniques that readers can relate too.
Superhero Therapy is created for the average reader, not psychologists or professors. Its writing style is suitable for all ages from young adults to oldies. Psychological terminology is used sometimes to provide you with brief contextual information. Her aim is to briskly provide a handful of practical tools to the readers to help them easily learn how to manage difficult feelings.
Scarlet portrays her ideas in a fun way by using a team of fictional superheroes created by her. SUPERHERO THERAPY can be quickly read in a few short sessions so that readers can try out the “Superhero Steps”. I highly recommend this book to people of all ages.
Dr. Scarlet breaks down the complex therapy in a way that makes it easy to understand and practice. https://www.amazon.com/Superhero-Therapy-Mindfulness-Anxiety-Depression/dp/1684030331/
Mentalizing in Group Art Therapy
By Kula Moore and Kate Marder
It is a comprehensive outlet for processing and self-expression. It has an 8-week syllabus, which provides professional guidance and detailed methods. The book puts mentalizing-based arts interventions in clinical practice, in a group or individual setting with those aged 18-30. It includes case examples to portray how art therapy interventions enhance “mentalizing”. This book is an ideal resource for all professional art therapists who will utilize their distinct capabilities and specialized training.
The descriptions are innovative and easy to incorporate into your own personal practice.
Art Therapy, Trauma, and Neuroscience
By Juliet L. King
Art Therapy, Trauma, and Neuroscience combines research, theory, and practice with the traumatized populations in a neuroscience framework. Juliet recognizes the importance of understanding both art therapy and trauma studies. The book uses translational and integrative neuroscience to provide theoretical and applied techniques. Therapists will obtain tools for a refined understanding of brain-based interventions in an accessible and dynamic format.
This book is an amazing resource for students and practitioners to understand the principles of Art Therapy. This book shows how the creative expression is highly effective in treating trauma and neuroscience.
It provides an accurate and accessible overview of current concepts in neuroscience. Besides the former, a wide variety of conceptual models and frameworks are given for understanding the relationship between neuro-anatomical functions related to trauma and recovery.
The Art Therapy Sourcebook
By Cathy Malchiodi
The Art Therapy Sourcebook has lots of information on every edge of art therapy. The book is friendly and accessible to beginners because of the detailed overview of art therapy and its applications. This book serves as a guide for a learner seeking relief through art therapy as well as teachers who use their skills to help others.
The Art Therapy Sourcebook contains information on how to create an environment full of creativity and art.
This book will give you an overview of art therapy and explain the power of art creation for insight, personal growth, and transformation. It will introduce you to art therapy, from where it originated, and why it is a good way of knowing a powerful way of healing. It will also make you familiar with many ways art-making is being used as therapy. The book can help you express yourself, confront, resolve trauma or loss, reduce stress, and enhance your health and well-being.
This is an excellent resource book for any mental care health professional. Art exercises in this book express emotional content which is often difficult to express through talk therapy only. It is easy to read, unpretentiously written, and acts for one as an auxiliary hand in individual as well as group therapy.
Art Therapy Techniques and Applications: A Model for Practice
By Susan Buchalter
This book is full of innovative ideas that can be easily implemented. The book has brief warm-ups to expand the imagination, mask creations and collage to help the expression of mood. It also contains guidance on combining items such as art, mindfulness exercises, metaphors and movement. It also tells how to use computer programs to enhance your art therapy projects.
This book is ideal for a trainer who works with people or kids with very limited verbal skills. It has many ideas for group activities that are creative, fun and also therapeutic. This book has lots of very good practical ideas. Most of them are designed for adults but are also adaptable for kids. The book has easy directions, with lots of activities that do not require a lot of set up.
It is comprehensive and concise. It is easy to access with limited time when you have to plan client sessions. I appreciate the intention behind the book. It is built upon the basic art therapy skills and gives in-depth modalities and strategies.
Studio Art Therapy: Cultivating the Artist Identity in the Art Therapist
By Catherine Hyland Moon
Catherine proposes that the profession of art therapy has its roots in the studio environment. She leads the idea that it is the right time to reclaim the roots and make art central part of art therapy. According to her, art therapy is not simply to interact with but is enriched by other perspectives such as social, psychological, anthropological and trans personal.
She differentiates clearly using art in one’s practice of therapy, from working from an art-based model. Studio Art Therapy presents a model of art therapy where the processes and products of art constitute the core. Instead of serving as the impetus for adaptations of other theories related to counseling. It is an arts-based approach that can provide the therapist with information. Information related to different aspects of practice, the concept of the work and the attempt to understand the clients. Also, about how one needs to interact with the clients and easily communicate with others about art therapy.
The book contains stories about the works of art therapists, and art therapy students and those who seek help in art therapy. It presents the theory behind art therapy and about bringing it to life. Catherine believes that art has something unique to offer to the therapeutic process. This distinguishes other therapeutic professions from arts therapies. This book is comprehensive and engaging.
Approaches to Art Therapy: Theory and Technique
by A. Rubin Judith
This book has various theoretical approaches to art therapy. Each chapter provides a definition and orientation to the specific theory or its area of emphasis, clearly showing its relevance to art therapy. Clinical examples along with nearly 100 illustrations are used. The authors present a creative and effective way of treatment.
This new edition has increased the strength of its overview and offers many new chapters. New chapters include cognitive-behavioral therapy and person-centered therapy. The text book is divided into five sections which are psychodynamic approaches, humanistic approaches, psycho-educational approaches, systemic approaches, and integrative approaches. Each section of the book is followed by commentaries of well-known art therapists.