The Relationship of Art Therapy to Spirituality

Author/s: Merve Nur Çınar


Year: 2022 Vol: 7 Number: 3


Art therapy is based on the idea that creative artistic processes facilitate repair and healing and is a form of psychotherapy where image creation and object usage are the primary forms of expression and communication. Although art therapy’s emergence as a profession is relatively recent, the roots of using art for healing are as old as the symbolic rituals ancient cultures used in religious ceremonies. Art therapy also spread universally, from mummy’s ornaments in Egypt to Tibetan monks’ sand mandalas. The ancient intertwined history of the relationship between art and spirituality as well as between spirituality and healing has aroused curiosity about the nature of the relationship between art therapy and spirituality. Based on this curiosity, the article will address within its scope the definition of art therapy and its early roots, followed by discussion on the relationship between art therapy and spirituality with regard to six propositions. By considering the close old friendship art has with therapy and spirituality in the context of art therapy, the study can contribute to the currently relevant literature on both art therapy and spirituality, as well as to the theoretical framework of spiritually oriented practices in art therapy.

Art therapy • Art • Spirituality • Healing • Therapy

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