Description : Narratives of Art Practice and Mental Wellbeing draws on extensive research carried out with mental health service users who are also practicing artists. Using narrative data gained through hours of reflective conversation, it explores not whether art can contribute to positive wellbeing and improved mental health - as this is now established ground - but rather how art works, and the role art making can play in people’s lives as they encounter crises, relapse, recovery or ‘beyonding’. The book maps the delicate ways in which finding a means to tell our story sometimes is the creative project we seek, and offers a reminder of how intrinsically linked our life trajectories are with creative opportunities. It describes the wide range of artistic activity occurring in health and community settings and the meanings of these practices to people with histories of mental turbulence. Drawing on psychoanalytic theory, the book explore the stories and various forms of visual arts practices spoken of, and considers the art making processes, the creative moments and the objects which in some cases have changed people’s lives. The seven chapters of the book offer a blend of personal testimony, theory, debate, critique and celebration, and examine key topics of deliberation within the fields of art therapy, arts in health, community arts practice, participatory arts, and widening participation within arts education. It will be valuable reading for researchers, students, artists and practitioners in these fields.
Description : Performing Psychologies offers new perspectives on arts and health, focussing on the different ways in which performance interacting with psychology can enhance understanding of the mind. The book challenges stereotypes of disability, madness and creativity, addressing a range of conditions (autism, dementia and schizophrenia) and performance practices including staged productions and applied work in custodial, health and community settings. Featuring case studies ranging from Hamlet to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, the pioneering work of companies such as Spare Tyre and Ridiculusmus, and embracing dance and music as well as theatre and drama, the volume offers new perspectives on the dynamic interactions between performance, psychology and states of mind. It contains contributions from psychologists, performance scholars, therapists and healthcare professionals, who offer multiple perspectives on working through performance-based media. Presenting a richly interdisciplinary and collaborative investigation of the arts in practice, this volume opens up new ways of thinking about the performance of psychologies, and about how psychologies perform.
Description : Rising life expectancies and declining social capital in the developed world mean that an increasing number of people are likely to experience some form of loneliness in their lifetimes than ever before. Narratives of Loneliness tackles some of the most pressing issues related to loneliness, showing that whilst recent policies on social integration, community building and volunteering may go some way to giving an illusion of not being alone, ultimately, they offer a rhetoric of togetherness that may be more seductive than ameliorative, as the condition and experience of loneliness is far more complex than commonly perceived. Containing thought-provoking contributions from researchers and commentators in several countries, this important work challenges us to rethink some of the burning issues of our day with specific reference to the causes and consequences of loneliness. Topics include the loneliness and mental health of military personnel, loneliness and social media, loneliness and sexuality, urban loneliness, and the experiences of transnational movement and adopted children. This book therefore makes an overdue multidisciplinary contribution to the emerging debate about how best to deal with loneliness in a world that combines greater and faster connectedness on the one hand with more intensely experienced isolation on the other. Since Émile Durkheim first claimed that the structure of society could have a strong bearing on psychological health in the 1890s, researchers in a range of disciplines have explored the probable impact of social context on mental health and wellbeing. Interdisciplinary in approach, Narratives of Loneliness will therefore be of great interest to academics, postgraduate students and researchers in social sciences, the arts, psychology and psychiatry.
Description : Narratives of Recovery from Mental Illness presents research that challenges the prevailing view that recovery from ‘mental illness’ must take place within the boundaries of traditional mental health services. While Watts and Higgins accept that medical treatment may be a vital start to some people’s recovery, they argue that mental health problems can also be resolved through everyday social interactions, and through peer and community support. Using a narrative approach, this book presents detailed recovery stories of 26 people who received various diagnoses of ‘mental illness’ and were involved in a mutual help group known as ‘GROW’. Drawing on an in-depth analysis of each story, chapters offer new understandings of the journey into mental distress and a progressive entrapment through a combination of events, feelings, thoughts and relationships. The book also discusses the process of ongoing personal liberation and healing which assists recovery, and suggests that friendship, social involvement, compassion, and nurturing processes of change all play key factors in improved mental well-being. This book provides an alternative way of looking at ‘mental illness’ and demonstrates many unexplored avenues and paths to recovery that need to be considered. As such, it will be of interest to researchers, academics and postgraduate students in the fields of psychiatry, psychology, nursing, social work and occupational therapy, as well as to service providers, policymakers and peer support organisations. The narratives of recovery within the book should also be a source of hope to people struggling with ‘mental illness’ and emotional distress
Description : World Book Night 2018 In 2012, The Recovery Letters was launched to host a series of letters online written by people recovering from depression, addressed to those currently affected by a mental health condition. Addressed to 'Dear You', the inspirational and heartfelt letters provided hope and support to those experiencing depression and were testament that recovery was possible. Now for the first time, these letters have been compiled into an anthology for people living with depression and are interspersed with motivating quotes and additional resources as well as new material written specifically for the book. This powerful collection of personal letters from people with first-hand experiences of depression will serve as a comforting resource for anyone on the journey to recovery.
Description : With approximately 1 in 6 adults likely to experience a significant mental health problem at any one time (Office for National Statistics), research into effective interventions has never been more important. During the past decade there has been an increasing interest in the role that sport and physical activity can play in the treatment of mental health problems, and in mental health promotion. The benefits resulting from physiological changes during exercise are well documented, including improvement in mood and control of anxiety and depression. Research also suggests that socio-cultural and psychological changes arising from engagement in sport and physical activity carry valuable mental health benefits. Sport and Physical Activity for Mental Health is an evidence-based practical guide for nurses, allied health professionals, social workers, physical activity leaders, and sport coaches. The authors provide comprehensive analysis of a broad range of client narratives, integrating theory and the latest research to explore the effectiveness of various interventions. The book offers readers detailed recommendations, suggestions, and ideas as to how sport and physical activity opportunities can be tailored to provide the greatest mental health benefits.
Description : In Committed to the Sane Asylum: Narratives on Mental Wellness and Healing, artist Susan Schellenberg, a former psychiatric patient, and psychologist Rosemary Barnes relate their own stories, conversations, and reflections concerning the contributions and limitations of conventional mental health care and their collaborative search for alternatives such as art therapy. Patient and doctor each describe personal decisions about the mental health system and the creative life possibilities that emerged when mind, body, and spirit were committed to well-being and healing. Interwoven patient/doctor narratives explain conventional care, highlight critical steps in healing, and explore varied perspectives through conversations with experts in psychiatry, feminist approaches, art, storytelling, and business. The book also includes reproductions of Susan’s mental health records and dream paintings. This book will be important for consumers of mental health care wishing to understand the conventional system and develop the best quality of life. Rich personal detail, critical perspective, clinical records, and art reproductions make the book engaging for a general audience and stimulating as a teaching resource in nursing, social work, psychology, psychiatry, and art therapy.
Description : Narrative psychiatry empowers patients to shape their lives through story. Rather than focusing only on finding the source of the problem, in this collaborative clinical approach psychiatrists also help patients diagnose and develop their sources of strength. By encouraging the patient to explore their personal narrative through questioning and story-telling, the clinician helps the patient participate in and discover the ways in which they construct meaning, how they view themselves, what their values are, and who it is exactly that they want to be. These revelations in turn inform clinical decision-making about what it is that ails them, how they'd like to treat it, and what recovery might look like. The Art of Narrative Psychiatry is the first comprehensive description of narrative psychiatry in action. Engaging and accessible, it demonstrates how to help patients cultivate their personal sources of strength and meaning as resources for recovery. Illustrated with vivid case reports and in-depth accounts of therapeutic conversations, the book offers psychiatrists and psychotherapists detailed guidance in the theory and practice of this collaborative approach. Drawing inspiration from narrative therapy, post-modern philosophy, humanistic medicine, and social justice movements - and replete with ways to more fully manifest the intentions of the mental health recovery model - this engaging new book shows how to draw on the standard psychiatric toolbox while also maintaining focus on the patient's vision of the world and illuminating their skills and strengths. Written by a pioneer in the field, The Art of Narrative Psychiatry describes a breadth of nuanced, powerful narrative practices, including externalizing problems, listening for what is absent but implicit, facilitating re-authoring conversations, fostering communities of support, and creating therapeutic documents. The Art of Narrative Psychiatry addresses mental health challenges that range from mild to severe, including anxiety, depression, despair, anorexia/bulimia, perfectionism, OCD, trauma, psychosis, and loss. True to form, the author narrates her own experience throughout, sharing her internal thoughts and decision-making processes as she listens to patients. The Art of Narrative Psychiatry is necessary reading for any professional seeking to empower their patients and become a better, more compassionate clinician.
Description : Positive Art Therapy Theory and Practice outlines a clear, systematic approach for combining positive psychology with art therapy’s capacity to mobilize client strengths; induce engagement, flow and positive emotions; transform perceptions; build healing relationships and empowering narratives; and illuminate life purpose and meaning. Woven throughout are clinical illustrations, state-of-the-art research, discussion questions, and reflections on how therapists can apply this approach to their work with clients, and their personal and professional development. The book also includes a comprehensive list of more than 80 positive art therapy directives, a robust glossary, and lists of strengths and values. Written in an inviting and amusing style, this manual is both entertaining and practical—an invaluable tool for any practitioner looking to apply the most current theory and research on positive psychology and art therapy to their clinical practice.
Description : This is a book that integrates what is known from a wide variety of disciplines about the nature of storytelling and how it influences and transforms people's lives. Drawing on material from the humanities, sociology, anthropology, neurophysiology, media and communication studies, narrative inquiry, indigenous healing traditions, as well as education, counseling, and therapy, the book explores the ways that therapists operate as professional storytellers. In addition, our job is to hold and honor the stories of our clients, helping them to reshape them in more constructive ways. The book itself is written as a story, utilizing engaging prose, research, photographs, and powerful anecdotes to draw readers into the intriguing dynamics and processes involved in therapeutic storytelling. It sets the stage for what follows by discussing the ways that stories have influenced history, cultural development, and individual worldviews and then delves into the ways that everyday lives are impacted by the stories we hear, read, and view in popular media. The focus then moves to stories within the context of therapy, exploring how client stories are told, heard, and negotiated in sessions. Attention then moves to the ways that therapists can become more skilled and accomplished storytellers, regardless of their theoretical preferences and style.