Nature Art Therapy: Preliminary Research Findings

Lisa Manthe

Abstract


Andy Goldsworthy inspired nature art therapy provides a metaphoric template in which an adolescent explores time, change, and loss. Goldsworthy speaks to the importance of a heightened sense of touch or ‘haptic’ state that nature sculpture provokes within the artist utilizing all senses (Malpas, 2007; Goldsworthy, 2004). This whole body, mindful contemplation of place and the present, directly connects to the asserted need of the adolescent struggling with trauma (Van der Kolk, 2014). Nature art therapy allows the individual to create an essential sense of safety through the involvement of right brain interventions as well as the resolution of attachment to the environment. The importance of re-establishing a safe place for growth is essential to the developing needs of the adolescent struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This paper explores the importance of place through review of relevant literature and description of research within a nine week Andy Goldsworthy inspired nature group based treatment intervention for teenagers diagnosed with PTSD.

Keywords: Art Therapy, nature Therapy, PTSD, Adolescence, Space, Andy Goldsworthy 


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