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Healing Dolls as therapeutic Art Therapy intervention

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The doll as a healing image and the doll-making process are an art therapy intervention utilized in mental health settings by trained Art Therapists to process grief, loss, trauma, gender identity, substance abuse etc. This is a presentation prepared for the Michigan Association of Art Therapists "Healing Doll Workshop"

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Healing Dolls as therapeutic Art Therapy intervention

  1. 1. Healing Dolls<br />Healing Dolls as Therapeutic Art Therapy Intervention<br />A Workshop Presented by<br />Margaret M. McGuinness, MA, MEd, ATR<br />
  2. 2. Healing Dolls as Therapeutic Art Therapy Intervention<br />DOLLS RECREATE THE SELF and THE IDEAL SELF OR “OTHER”. DOLLS ARE OLDER THAN KNOWN TWO DIMENSIONAL ARTS, DATING BACK BEFORE CAVE PAINTINGS.<br />THEIR HISTORY INVOLVES USE IN RITUALS OVER BIRTH, DEATH, COMING OF AGE, AND MARRIAGE. THEY WERE USED AS STAND-INS FOR SACRED RITES. “DIVINE” DOLLS CONTINUE TO BE USED IN RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES. SOME CULTURES UTILIZE DOLLS AS SUPERNATURAL INTERMEDIARIES.<br />DOLLS TEACH BUT OF MORE IMPORTANCE IS PLAY.<br />
  3. 3. Healing Dolls as Therapeutic Art Therapy Intervention<br />TERMS<br />The Collective Unconscious <br />the sympathy of all things which connects all humans throughout history. Archetypes connect the living to the past by a bridge of emotions, innate mental tendencies, to explain the inner and outer self. (Jung, 1965.) <br />Art as Medicine<br />“Consider the image and art processes as channels to the soul.” (McNiff, 1992.)<br />Flow<br />A holistic sensation felt when one acts with total involvement, as in play. (Czikszentmikaly, 1997.)<br />Play<br />Transitional object necessary…defense against anxiety. (Winnicott, 1971.)<br />In ancient Greek mythology, the god of fire and metalwork, Hephaestus, assisted humans in creating toys for playthings.<br />Dromena<br />Biological need to make things special… art “allows us to order, shape and control at least a piece of the world.” (Dissanayake, 1992)<br />
  4. 4. THREE CENTRAL CONCEPTS<br />Healing Dolls<br /><ul><li>Art and play “allow us to order, shape and control at least a piece of the world.”
  5. 5. Dolls recreate the self or “other”.
  6. 6. Art processes are channels to the soul, the “collective unconscious” and “flow”, the sense of “feeling connected” to something greater. </li></li></ul><li>The creative process involved in making art is healing and life-enhancing. Harris, Christine K.<br />http://hamptonroads.com/2008/07/healing-power-medicine-dolls<br />
  7. 7. Healing Doll Workshop<br />Art Therapists working with:<br /> At-risk youth, girls-in-transition, adolescent rites of passage, gender issues;<br /> Adults with body-image, grief/loss, depression, domestic violence, substance-abuse, cancer survivor, self-awareness issues;<br /> Children’s hospice care programs, trauma/ recovery, foster-care;<br />Adult healing workshops.<br />
  8. 8. OBJECTIVES<br />Participants at this workshop will learn to: <br />Define the three central concepts of The Healing Doll. <br />Describe at least five benefits of using the Doll art form as a therapeutic intervention. <br />Distinguish adult, adolescent and children’s clinical situations in which The Healing Doll intervention may be used. <br />Identify at least six clinical populations for whom The Healing Doll intervention would be appropriate.<br />
  9. 9. The Doll is always on the threshold of becoming.<br />Fox, C. (1973) The Doll. New York, Harry N. Abrams.<br />
  10. 10. Dolls represent how we view ourselves from all aspects: emotional,psychological,environmental,and spiritual. Through doll-making processes, the artist intuitively responds to the emerging image, changing , playing and dialoging with it. <br />
  11. 11. Healing Doll Workshop<br />Case examples from presenter’s work with clients:<br />Adult Psychiatric Crisis Center, Royal Oak, MI: (dx: Depression/Lou Gehrig&apos;s Disease) Female client made dolls of her children removed from her care as replacements. She carried these dolls with her and spoke to them while in treatment.<br />Adolescent female survivor of incest, Detroit, MI: ( dx: mildly mentally retarded with PTSD)<br /> In preparation for court appearance as victim, created an image of Diana, goddess/protector, with shield, bow and quiver of arrows. She kept this doll with her during testimony.<br />
  12. 12. Healing Doll Workshop<br />Case examples from presenter’s work with clients:<br />Certified Nurse Midwives Conference Workshop, Lansing, MI: Intergenerational group of females creating “dolls as healing images” during workshop. These dolls underwent multiple transformations before completion. Many stories of unreconciled guilt over loss were shared during this workshop.<br />Children’s Grief Group, Arbor Hospice, Ann Arbor, MI: Group created memory containers of their parent/family member who passed away from cancer. These dolls hold within them drawings each child made of their favorite time with the deceased. Articles from clothing/favorite thing were included in each doll.<br />
  13. 13. DOLL AS ARTby M. McGuinness<br />

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