Authors: Rosemary J. Faire
Event: 2002 TheMHS Conference
Subject: song writing, indigenous art work, book of proceedings
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: This paper introduces the reader to the modern profession of Music Therapy, and the challenge faced by Music Therapists to uphold the values of both the Arts and Science. An "indigenous art-work centred" approach (Intermodal Expressive Arts Therapy), the foundation of the author's work, is described. At the core of this model are the concepts of "poiesis"(artistic knowing) and "Spielraum" (space to play). In the safety of a non-judgemental musical relationship, one can enter an "alternate experience of worlding" in which the imagination and the creation of, and engagement with, an art work can reveal fresh insights, and sometimes offer a gift. A description of song writing in mental health settings at Cumberland Hospital and Westview Cottage illustrates the way in which songs can act as containers, as third elements in therapy which enable "aesthetic distancing" through which the song writers can view and share their personal experience. The broader relevance of the arts therapies for mental health in the general community is also discussed.