Author(s): Cornelia Elbrecht
A body-focused, trauma-informed art therapy that will appeal to art therapists, somatic experiencing practitioners, bodyworkers, artists, and mental health professionals
While art therapy traditionally focuses on therapeutic image-making and the cognitive or symbolic interpretation of these creations, Cornelia Elbrecht instructs readers how to facilitate the body-focused approach of guided drawing. Clients draw with both hands and eyes closed as they focus on their felt sense. Physical pain, tension, and emotions are expressed without words through bilateral scribbles. Clients then, with an almost massage-like approach, find movements that soothe their pain, discharge inner tension and emotions, and repair boundary breaches. Archetypal shapes allow therapists to safely structure the experience in a nonverbal way. Sensorimotor art therapy is a unique and self-empowering application of somatic experiencing--it is both body-focused and trauma-informed in approach--and assists clients who have experienced complex traumatic events to actively respond to overwhelming experiences until they feel less helpless and overwhelmed and are then able to repair their memories of the past. Elbrecht provides readers with the context of body-focused, trauma-informed art therapy and walks them through the thinking behind and process of guided drawing--including 100 images from client sessions that serve as helpful examples of the work.