This chapter offers a definition of art therapy and a brief history of its development as a profession, first in the United Kingdom and the United States, and then throughout the world. The main feature of art therapy is the use of images and imagination, through which patients can express, understand, and elaborate their emotions at a symbolic level, within the therapeutic relationship. This chapter considers some basic interventions for complementary and palliative care: bedside interventions with hospitalised patients, the open studio with patients during treatment, short-term group art therapy known as Creative Journey, and individual art psychotherapy. It also discusses the criteria for referral to art therapy.
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