Unpacking gender in art therapy: The elephant at the art therapy easel

Journal article


Hogan, Susan and Cornish, Shelagh 2014. Unpacking gender in art therapy: The elephant at the art therapy easel. International Journal of Art Therapy. https://doi.org/10.1080/17454832.2014.961494
AuthorsHogan, Susan and Cornish, Shelagh
Abstract

A national survey of registered art therapists in Britain was undertaken to create both quantitative and qualitative data about how ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation influence the therapeutic relationship. A tick-box scale was used alongside more open questions. This article presents the initial findings of the research and will focus on gender issues in the art therapy relationship; it will elucidate some of the ways in which art therapists conceptualise gender in the therapeutic alliance. The research indicates that the overwhelming majority of art therapists think that their own gender is very important to the therapeutic encounter. The personal preference of the client, personal history and presenting issues, which may be gender related, are highlighted by both male and female respondents. Art therapists seek to be aware and non-judgemental regarding gender. An interesting finding highlights that the transference gender might not correspond to the biological sex, suggesting that some art therapists have a ‘mobile’ understanding of gender, and are keen not to foreclose conceptual possibilities because of gender. This would also seem to indicate a permeation of postmodernist ideas into art therapy thinking.

KeywordsGender; Sex; Art therapy; Arts in health
Year2014
JournalInternational Journal of Art Therapy
ISSN1745-4832
1745-4840
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/17454832.2014.961494
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/582829
hdl:10545/582829
Publication dates28 Oct 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited27 Nov 2015, 14:51
SeriesVol. 19.
Issue 3.
Rights

Archived with thanks to International Journal of Art Therapy

ContributorsUniversity of Derby, and Health & Social Care Research Centre
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