Claywork within the holographic paradigm : a transpersonal perspective on art therapy

Diers, Belinda Gail (2000) Claywork within the holographic paradigm : a transpersonal perspective on art therapy. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




This thesis is grounded in the theoretical discourses of art therapy and transpersonal psychology. The focus is on a single session of claywork, where a sculpture was made and discussed, leading to an understanding of some of the sculptor's central psychological issues. The overall aim of the research was to examine different hermeneutic perspectives on art therapy with clay sculpture in terms of how well they open up and do justice to the experience of the sculptor and the nature of the overall process. Within this there are two particular goals: Firstly, to examine the extent to which the holographic paradigm in comparison to other perspectives, allows a deeper access to, and deeper understanding of, transpersonal themes and processes; and secondly, to examine the extent to which processes within claywork can be understood as ritual activities. The research was a phenomenological-hermeneutic case study. The session was reduced to a narrative synopsis, and then a hermeneutically grounded thematic analysis was carried out using the theory of Transpersonal Feminism (Knight, 1997) and Schema-Focused Cognitive Therapy (young, 1990, 1994). The principal conclusions reached were that the holographic paradigm does add to our understanding of the experiences (personal and transpersonal) of the claywork, often beyond the scope of other art therapy perspectives. The image of the shaman is used as a metaphor for understanding the process of healing described within the holographic paradigm. Within the healing process, ritual plays an important role in the meaningful therapeutic activity of art therapy. The claywork expresses that the transpersonal struggle with archetypal forces within the collective unconscious is reflected on a personal level through individual conflicts and dilemmas within the personal unconscious. Indeed, these difficulties are viewed on both levels as 'stepping stones' on the path of spiritual development described by Engler (1984) and Welwood (1986).

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Art therapy, Holography, Transpersonal psychology
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > Psychology
ID Code:2432
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:31 Jan 2012 09:18
Last Modified:31 Jan 2012 09:18
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