Welcome to the insiderart blog

Welcome to the insiderart blog

The Insider Art blog will expand on what we are up to, and the content of the site, but we are aiming to do a bit more than that.

“Art therapy” is a way of thinking. We were once asked by an NHS manager “What would a mental health team gain from having an art therapist?” The first response that came to mind was “Someone who thinks differently”.

It is a perspective in which:

People are seen as innately, resourceful, resilient, creative, and deserving of respect.

Distress and disturbance are normal parts of life. What are called mental illnesses could equally well be called extreme experiences of the human condition.

Creativity and the arts are deep resources that should be equally normal parts of life.

People are born to relate to one another. Art Therapy is a way of working through relationship and the arts to alleviate suffering, increase well-being, put people in touch with their own resources and live life creatively.

Although the arts and relationship are innately human, their use in this way is a skill. Part of that skill is a clarity about service: we are not in service to “art” or medicine but to the well-being of the people we work with.

In other words it is the world seen as if people mattered, and as if the arts mattered.

Being in service to imagination, compassion and the arts demands clear thinking and plain English. Neither the arts nor psychotherapy are particularly good at these: both often use languages that exclude rather than include. We will do our best to explore complexity in comprehensible, and we hope interesting, ways.

We also intend to be entertaining: silly, humorous, irreverent and digressive, as the subject and mood take us.

Let us know how we are doing, and suggest questions we might be able to helpfully tackle.


Malcolm Learmonth
Karen Huckvale

Posted by Malcolm Learmonth
14th March 2016

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