A Meaning-Based Approach to Art Therapy: From the Holocaust to Contemporary Practices

Author(s) : Elizabeth Hadara Hlavek

A Meaning-Based Approach to Art Therapy: From the Holocaust to Contemporary Practices

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A Meaning-Based Approach to Art Therapy contextualizes the phenomena of Holocaust artwork for the field of art therapy and uses this canon of artwork to support the inclusion of logotherapy into art therapy theory and practice.

The author expounds on a study in which she interviewed surviving Holocaust artists about how they were able to create their artworks while in Nazi captivity. Divided into three parts, the book follows the chronological order of her inquiry. It first presents theory, then research, and ends with implications for the practice of art therapy. The research chapters set out the process and results of the author's phenomenological inquiry. They address how art making during the Holocaust allowed captive artists to bear witness, leave a legacy and retain their humanity. In the final part, the author reveals how art therapists can use concepts from her study to support the progress of their clients. She advocates for the application of logotherapy, an existential philosophy that emphasizes finding meaning to facilitate healing and personal growth.

Practicing art therapists and students of art therapy will find this book to be an excellent resource on logotherapy, an updated perspective on existentialism, and a contemporary examination of phenomenology.

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