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Book Review: 'Principles and Practice of Expressive Arts Therapy: Toward a Therapeutic Aesthetics'
The practicing therapists need to know both the theoretical frame wok and practical or clinical aspects of their profession to provide intrinsic validity to their practice. But unfortunately, both in special education institutions and therapy clinics, much attention is not being paid to the theoretical foundation of the therapies which makes the therapeutic process routine, static and mechanical.

In such a scenario, the book "Principles and Practice of Expressive Arts Therapy: Toward a Therapeutic Aesthetics" rightly challenges the traditional therapeutic approaches to the arts in which art is often secondary to a psychological model and provides a coherent theoretical framework for an expressive arts therapy practice that places the process of art-making and the art work itself at the centre, the work of the authors of the book; Paolo J Knill, Ellen G Levine, and Stephen K Levine; becomes relevant.

It needs to be understood that in the expressive arts therapy, it is the process of creation that should be emphasised rather than the final product. This therapy makes use of the process-based experiences and self-expressive opportunities for creating art, music, dance, rhythmic movement, drama, poetry, creative writing, play, clay work, craft, theatre, sand-tray, etc.

Therefore, while using the expressive arts therapy in contexts of children with learning disabilities, psychotherapy, counselling, rehabilitation or health care, the therapists should be well-versed in all these art forms as well in the interpretation of feelings and emotions being expressed to so as help the clients receive the right kind of intervention or treatment to mitigate their health and learning problems.

The book, published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, provides a bit different but valid interpretation of art-making by clients and the therapeutic process by exploring afresh the concept of 'poiesis' and advocates for inter-modal process of expressive arts therapy. The book provides relevant case studies of clinical practice and guidance.

The book spread over 264 pages explains the methodology and theory of practice of intermodal therapy and polyaesthetics. For the plasticising therapists, the book can thus work as a guidebook on the didactics of acquiring practical skills.

The book also describes the supervision and training methodologies in intermodal expressive arts therapy. It is a useful book for both therapists and special education teachers and educators.

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