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Person Centred Art Therapy


Silverstone describes how her work as an art therapist was influenced by the person-centred approach in terms of the belief that the client knows best and can reach his or her own potential in a climate of acceptance, congruence and empathy (Silverstone, 1997). With this underlying philosophy, she brought the person-centred counselling approach to the therapeutic use of art, which she emphasised as ‘allowing the client to know what the picture meant, no interpretations, no guess work, not me knowing best. The evidence was astonishing and encouraging ‘ (Silverstone, 1997).

Silverstone (1997 conceptualises person-centred art therapy as ‘a creative method to bring the analytical and intellectual, verbal way of thinking, into the 'here and now' worlds of imagination, intuition, and inspiration’.


Silverstone further emphasises that by “making our images visible, we can tap into material from the subconscious denied to the forefront of our awareness and gain valuable insights leading to growth, self-awareness and integration” (Silverstone, 2009).


Personally, I defined person centred art therapy as a means of therapy by creating visual images through drawing, painting, sketching and doodling creatively and imaginatively, and incorporating these with the person-centred core concepts to be used in the process of art as therapy, and/or art in therapy.  

(Azizah Abdullah, 2015)

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