The European Graduate School
EST. 1994

Arts, Health and Society Division



AHS Book Database 2004

Art Heals
How Creativity Cures the Soul

The field of art therapy is discovering that artistic expression can be a powerful means of personal transformation and emotional and spiritual healing. In this book, Shaun McNiff, a leader in expressive arts therapy for more than three decades, reflects on a wide spectrum of activities aimed at reviving art's traditional healing function. In chapters ranging from "Liberating Creativity" and "The Practice of Creativity in the Workplace" to "From Shamanism to Art Therapy," he illuminates some of the most progressive views in the rapidly expanding field of art therapy:

  • The "practice of imagination" as a powerful force for transformation
  • A challenge to literal-minded psychological interpretations of artworks ("black colors indicate depression") and the principle that even disturbing images have inherent healing properties
  • The role of the therapist in promoting an environment conducive to free expression and therapeutic energies
  • The healing effects of group work, with people creating alongside one another and interacting in the studio
  • "Total expression," combining arts such as movement, storytelling, and drumming with painting and drawing

2004: Shaun McNiff

Shambhala Publications

ISBN: 978-1-59030-166-1

Paperback, eBook


Crossing Boundaries
Explorations in Therapy & the Arts

a Festschrift for Paolo Knill

The work of Paolo Knill, a pioneer of expressive arts therapy in North America and the founder and provost of the European Graduate School in Switzerland, is honored in these essays that explore the territory between psychology and art. From reflections on the practice of expressive arts therapy to theoretical attempts to understand the foundations of creative expression in therapy, these writings bring together intellectual discourse and sensitive artistic inquiry to emphasize the central role of the arts in bringing meaning and value to human life. Contributors include Herbert Eberhart, Majken Jacoby, Shaun McNiff, and Melinda Meyer.

2004: Stephen K. Levine

EGS Press

ISBN: 978-0-9685330-1-7



Minstrels of Soul
Intermodal Expressive Therapy

Expressive arts therapy is introduced in this exploration of the basic principles and foundations in using the arts in psychotherapy. A discussion of polyaesthetics, crystallization, intermodal theory, and the roles of expression and catharsis provide a theoretical foundation for understanding this creative approach to therapy. Asking the question What happens when a client's art-making is received by the therapist?, the special considerations in the practice of expressive arts therapy are summarized, including relationship as art, play, structure and framing, low-skill and high-sensitivity work, and the phenomenon of the surprising experience that comes when a therapist and client work in a creative space together. This is a fundamental resource for all who consider the use of the arts in therapy.

2004: Helen Nienhaus Barba, Margo N. Fuchs, Paolo Knill

EGS Press

ISBN: 978-0-9685330-3-1



Principles and Practice of Expressive Arts Therapy

Challenging traditional therapeutic approaches to the arts in which art is often secondary to a psychological model, Principles and Practice of Expressive Arts Therapy provides a coherent theoretical framework for an expressive arts therapy practice that places the process of art-making and the art work itself at the center.

This book lays the philosophical foundation for a fresh interpretation of art-making and the therapeutic process by re-examining the concept of poiesis. The authors clarify the methodology and theory of practice with a focus on intermodal therapy, crystallization theory and polyaesthetics, and give guidance on the didactics of acquiring practical skills. Case studies of clinical practice and guidance on supervision and training in intermodal expressive arts therapy complement the theoretical chapters.

Combining philosophy, theory and practice, this book is an essential text for students and academics in the field and for practicing expressive and specialized arts therapists.

2004: Paolo Knill, Ellen G. Levine and Stephen K. Levine

Jessica Kingsley Publishers

ISBN: 978-1-84310-039-3