By Vassiliki (Vicky) Karkou, PhD MEd PgDip(DMT) BEd Sc(Hons), and Patricia Sanderson, PhD MA AdvDipEd(Dist) (Auth.)

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30 30 32 34 36 39 44 46 46 There are lengthy debates about the nature of arts therapies, which highlight either the psychotherapeutic or the artistic aspects of the work. The most recent definitions, with few exceptions, accept diversity as a characteristic of the field and avoid explicitly aligning with either psychotherapy or the arts. 29 • Based on important features of existing definitions, we propose a new definition of the field that we believe is sufficiently inclusive to embrace diversity and specific enough to attach a unique identity to the field.

5. • the use of the artistic medium, in terms of the image (AT), the music idiom (MT), the movement and/or dance (DMT) and the dramatic or theatrical structure (DT), as a vehicle for non-verbal communication facilitation of a trusting, safe environment in which creative processes can take place the pertinence of imagery, symbols and metaphors within the therapeutic process focus on non-verbal communication the establishment of a client–therapist relationship, interpreted as a transaction between client–artefact–therapist (AT), a relationship via music-making (MT), a supportive therapist and a self-responsible individual (DMT), or an established therapeutic understanding (DT) the pursuit of therapeutic aims.

Which] . . enables change to occur, both in the condition of the client and in the form the therapy takes. ’ (Standing Committee for Arts Therapies Professions 1989, Quoted by Gilroy & Lee 1995, p. 3) AT 1989 ‘The focus of AT is the image, and the process involves a transaction between the creator (the patient), the artefact and the therapist. As in all therapies, bringing unconscious feelings to a conscious level and thereafter exploring them holds true for Art Therapy, but here the richness of artistic symbol and metaphor illuminates the process.

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