“We dance round in a ring and suppose, but the secret sits in the middle and knows”: Art therapists' perspectives on dealing with secrets in therapy

Tal Sela, Michal Bat-Or

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study, part of a broader one (Sela & Bat-Or, 2022; Sela & Bat-Or, 2023) presents the attitudes, perceptions and clinical experiences of art therapists who participated in a focus group. The group included ten seasoned therapists who work with clients on a variety of issues related to secrecy and concealment. The focus group revealed two main themes and one sub-theme, as follow: a) The language of art as enabling the discovery and investigation of the 'unthought known', along with the sub-theme of enactment and counter transference in art therapy around issues of secrecy; and b) The language of art as enabling encryption. The findings point to the great potential of using art in psychotherapy interventions with clients who are exploring issues of secrecy and concealment. They also indicate that art therapy makes it possible not only to access the nature of the secret but also to understand the mechanisms of secrecy and concealment and the dynamics of the relationships formed around the secret.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102174
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
Volume90
StatePublished - Sep 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Arts therapy
  • Enactment
  • Focus group
  • Secrets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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