The best 20 Art Therapy books

Explore the transformative power of art therapy with this carefully curated book list. Discover how creativity can be used as a tool for healing and self-expression. Delve into the principles and practices of art therapy and learn how it can promote mental health and personal growth.
Whether you're an aspiring art therapist or simply interested in exploring the therapeutic benefits of art, this collection offers a rich resource for understanding this unique and impactful field.

The best 20 Art Therapy books
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1
Art Therapy Books: Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop

Unfu*k Yourself

Gary John Bishop
Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life
4.6 (1,400 ratings)
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What's Unfu*k Yourself about?

Unfu*k Yourself (2017) lays out an unpleasant truth: there’s only one thing that’s getting in the way of your best life, and that’s you. It provides a set of no-nonsense strategies designed to help you get out of your head, get out of your way, and begin living life on your own terms.

Who should read Unfu*k Yourself?

  • Self-saboteurs who can’t turn off their persistently negative inner monologue
  • Those trying to get out of their own way and go after their dreams
  • Anyone who’d like their life to be a little less, well, fu*ked

What's Expressive Therapies Continuum about?

Expressive Therapies Continuum by Lisa D. Hinz explores the use of art, music, dance, and drama as therapeutic tools. It introduces the Expressive Therapies Continuum (ETC) model, which helps therapists understand and apply different levels of expression in their work. The book provides practical guidance and case examples for using the ETC in various therapeutic settings.

Who should read Expressive Therapies Continuum?

  • Art therapists who want to deepen their understanding of the Expressive Therapies Continuum
  • Counselors and psychologists looking to incorporate art-based approaches into their practice
  • Graduate students in art therapy or related fields

3
Art Therapy Books: Art Heals by Shaun McNiff

Art Heals

Shaun McNiff

What's Art Heals about?

Art Heals by Shaun McNiff explores the transformative power of creativity and art therapy. Through personal stories and case studies, McNiff demonstrates how engaging in artistic expression can help individuals heal from physical, emotional, and psychological challenges. This insightful book offers a fresh perspective on the role of art in our lives and its ability to bring about healing and personal growth.

Who should read Art Heals?

  • Individuals seeking a creative outlet for emotional healing
  • Art therapists and mental health professionals looking to incorporate expressive arts into their practice
  • Anyone interested in the intersection of creativity, spirituality, and personal growth

4
Art Therapy Books: The Creative Connection by Natalie Rogers

The Creative Connection

Natalie Rogers

What's The Creative Connection about?

The Creative Connection by Natalie Rogers explores the power of expressive arts in therapy. Drawing from her own experiences and research, Rogers discusses how engaging in creative activities such as painting, dance, and writing can help individuals tap into their inner selves, express emotions, and foster personal growth. The book offers practical exercises and inspiring stories that demonstrate the profound connection between creativity and healing.

Who should read The Creative Connection?

  • Individuals seeking a more authentic and expressive life
  • Artists looking to tap into their creativity
  • Therapists and counselors interested in using the expressive arts in their practice

5
Art Therapy Books: Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie

Journey to the Heart

Melody Beattie

What's Journey to the Heart about?

Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie is a collection of daily meditations and reflections that guide readers on a year-long journey toward emotional healing and self-discovery. Drawing from her own experiences, Beattie shares powerful insights and heartfelt wisdom to help readers connect with their inner selves and find peace in the present moment.

Who should read Journey to the Heart?

  • Individuals seeking personal growth and self-discovery
  • Those looking for daily inspiration and guidance
  • People who want to cultivate a deeper connection with their heart and intuition

6
Art Therapy Books: Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness

Over the Top

Jonathan Van Ness

What's Over the Top about?

Over the Top is a memoir by Jonathan Van Ness that delves into his life as a hairdresser, podcast host, and television personality. Van Ness shares his journey of overcoming adversity, including addiction and being diagnosed with HIV, while also discussing topics such as self-acceptance and the importance of staying true to oneself.

Who should read Over the Top?

  • Individuals seeking inspiration and empowerment
  • People who are looking to overcome personal challenges and obstacles
  • Readers interested in personal growth and self-discovery

7
Art Therapy Books: Art-Based Group Therapy by Bruce L. Moon

What's Art-Based Group Therapy about?

Art-Based Group Therapy by Bruce L. Moon explores the use of art as a therapeutic tool in group settings. Drawing on his own experiences and research, Moon provides practical guidance and case examples to demonstrate how art can facilitate communication, expression, and healing within a group therapy setting. This book is a valuable resource for therapists and mental health professionals interested in incorporating creative techniques into their practice.

Who should read Art-Based Group Therapy?

  • Art therapists looking to enhance their group facilitation skills
  • Counselors or mental health professionals interested in incorporating art into their group work
  • Art educators seeking to understand the therapeutic potential of art-making within a group setting

8
Art Therapy Books: The Soul's Palette by Cathy A. Malchiodi

The Soul's Palette

Cathy A. Malchiodi

What's The Soul's Palette about?

The Soul's Palette by Cathy A. Malchiodi explores the therapeutic power of art and creativity. Through personal stories and case studies, the book delves into how engaging in artistic expression can help individuals heal from trauma, cope with mental health challenges, and discover their inner selves. Malchiodi offers practical exercises and insights for both mental health professionals and anyone interested in the transformative potential of art.

Who should read The Soul's Palette?

  • Individuals seeking to explore the therapeutic benefits of art making
  • Artists looking to deepen their connection to their creative process
  • Therapists and counselors looking for innovative ways to support their clients' healing journey

What's Introduction to Art Therapy about?

Introduction to Art Therapy by Bruce L. Moon provides a comprehensive overview of the field of art therapy. It delves into the history, theories, and techniques of using art as a therapeutic tool. With case studies and practical exercises, the book offers valuable insights for both aspiring art therapists and anyone interested in the healing power of art.

Who should read Introduction to Art Therapy?

  • Students or professionals interested in pursuing a career in art therapy
  • Artists or creatives looking to explore the therapeutic potential of their craft
  • Mental health professionals seeking to integrate art into their therapeutic practice

10
Art Therapy Books: Playing and Reality by D. W. Winnicott

Playing and Reality

D. W. Winnicott

What's Playing and Reality about?

Playing and Reality (1971) explores the importance of play in the development of the self and in the formation of relationships. Drawing on his work as a psychoanalyst, Winnicott argues that play is essential for psychological well-being and for establishing a connection with the external world. He also examines the concept of “transitional objects,” such as a child’s favorite toy, and their role in facilitating the transition from the inner world to the outside reality.

Who should read Playing and Reality?

  • Parents and caregivers looking to understand the importance of play in child development
  • Therapists and mental health professionals interested in the intersection of creativity and psychoanalysis
  • Educators seeking to foster a playful and supportive learning environment

11
Art Therapy Books: Art as Therapy by Alain de Botton, John Armstrong

Art as Therapy

Alain de Botton, John Armstrong

What's Art as Therapy about?

Art as Therapy by Alain de Botton and John Armstrong explores the ways in which art can serve as a therapeutic tool in our lives. The book challenges traditional art criticism and instead focuses on how art can help us address our emotional and psychological needs. Through insightful analysis and thought-provoking examples, the authors demonstrate how art can offer us solace, inspiration, and a deeper understanding of ourselves.

Who should read Art as Therapy?

  • Art enthusiasts seeking a deeper understanding of the therapeutic power of art
  • Individuals looking for personal growth and self-reflection through art
  • Therapists and counselors interested in integrating art into their practice

12
Art Therapy Books: 365 Days of Art by Lorna Scobie

365 Days of Art

Lorna Scobie

What's 365 Days of Art about?

365 Days of Art by Lorna Scobie is a creative journal that offers daily prompts and exercises to help you explore your artistic side. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced artist, this book provides a year's worth of inspiration and challenges to keep you motivated and engaged in your art practice.

Who should read 365 Days of Art?

  • Aspiring artists who want to develop a daily art practice
  • Creative individuals looking for inspiration and prompts to unleash their artistic potential
  • People seeking a mindful and expressive way to journal and process their emotions

13
Art Therapy Books: Jungian Art Therapy by Nora Swan-Foster

Jungian Art Therapy

Nora Swan-Foster

What's Jungian Art Therapy about?

Jungian Art Therapy by Nora Swan-Foster delves into the intersection of analytical psychology and art therapy. Drawing on the teachings of Carl Jung, the book explores how art can be used as a tool for self-discovery, healing, and personal transformation. Through case studies and practical exercises, Swan-Foster demonstrates how the integration of Jungian principles into art therapy can help individuals tap into their unconscious and unleash their creative potential.

Who should read Jungian Art Therapy?

  • Art therapists seeking a deeper understanding of Jungian psychology
  • Mental health professionals interested in incorporating art-based techniques into their practice
  • Individuals looking to explore their own unconscious mind through creative expression

14
Art Therapy Books: Little Windows Into Art Therapy by Deborah Schroder

Little Windows Into Art Therapy

Deborah Schroder
Small Openings for Beginning Therapists

What's Little Windows Into Art Therapy about?

Little Windows Into Art Therapy: Small Openings for Beginning Therapists by Deborah Schroder offers a practical and insightful guide for new art therapists. Through real-life case studies and practical exercises, the book explores how art can be used as a tool for healing and self-expression. It provides valuable tips and techniques for building rapport with clients, setting up a therapeutic space, and using art to facilitate communication and insight. A must-read for anyone embarking on a career in art therapy.

Who should read Little Windows Into Art Therapy?

  • Art therapy students and recent graduates looking for practical guidance and insights
  • Mental health professionals interested in incorporating art-based techniques into their practice
  • Individuals curious about the healing potential of art and its application in therapy

15
Art Therapy Books: Dibs in Search of Self by Virginia M. Axline

Dibs in Search of Self

Virginia M. Axline

What's Dibs in Search of Self about?

in Search of Self is a touching and insightful account of a young boy named Dibs who struggles with emotional and behavioral issues. Through his therapy sessions with the author, Dibs explores his inner world and gradually finds his true self. This book offers a unique perspective on the power of empathy and understanding in helping a child overcome challenges and discover their own identity.

Who should read Dibs in Search of Self?

OTE: This is a helpful resource for anyone interested in understanding the inner world of a young child, particularly those with emotional and behavioral challenges. The book provides insights into the power of play therapy and the potential for personal growth and self-discovery.


16
Art Therapy Books: Q&A a Day by Potter Style, Potter Gift

Q&A a Day

Potter Style, Potter Gift

What's Q&A a Day about?

Q&A a Day by Potter Style is a thought-provoking journal that offers a question for every day of the year. With space to record your answers over five years, it allows you to reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and experiences over time. It's a unique way to track your personal growth and see how your perspectives evolve.

Who should read Q&A a Day?

  • Those looking to deepen their relationship with thoughtful conversations
  • Couples who want to create a lasting keepsake of their daily experiences
  • Individuals who enjoy journaling or want to start a daily writing practice

17
Art Therapy Books: First Time Knitting by Carri Hammett

First Time Knitting

Carri Hammett

What's First Time Knitting about?

First Time Knitting by Carri Hammett is a comprehensive guide for beginners who want to learn the art of knitting. From choosing the right yarn and needles to mastering basic stitches and creating beautiful projects, this book provides step-by-step instructions and helpful tips to get you started on your knitting journey. With clear illustrations and easy-to-follow patterns, you'll be knitting with confidence in no time.

Who should read First Time Knitting?

  • Individuals who have never knitted before and want to learn from scratch

  • People who enjoy crafting and want to explore a new creative hobby

  • Those who appreciate clear, step-by-step instructions and visual demonstrations


18
Art Therapy Books: Perspective Made Easy by Ernest R. Norling

Perspective Made Easy

Ernest R. Norling

What's Perspective Made Easy about?

Perspective Made Easy by Ernest R. Norling provides a comprehensive guide to understanding and applying the principles of perspective in drawing. Through clear explanations and practical exercises, the book helps readers develop the skills needed to create realistic and lifelike drawings. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced artist, this book is a valuable resource for mastering the art of perspective.

Who should read Perspective Made Easy?

  • Art students and aspiring artists who want to improve their drawing skills

  • Professionals in fields such as architecture, design, and animation

  • Anyone with an interest in understanding and applying the principles of perspective in their artwork


19
Art Therapy Books: Soap Crafting by Anne-Marie Faiola

Soap Crafting

Anne-Marie Faiola

What's Soap Crafting about?

Soap Crafting by Anne-Marie Faiola is a comprehensive guide to making beautiful and luxurious handmade soaps. With detailed instructions and stunning photography, this book teaches you the art and science behind soap making. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced crafter, you'll find inspiration and practical tips to create your own unique soaps at home.

Who should read Soap Crafting?

  • Beginner soap makers looking to learn the basics of cold-process soap crafting

  • Experienced crafters seeking new and creative soap recipes and techniques

  • Individuals interested in creating personalized and natural skincare products


20
Art Therapy Books: Q&A a Day by Potter Gift

Q&A a Day

Potter Gift

What's Q&A a Day about?

Q&A a Day by Potter Gift is a thought-provoking journal that provides you with a question for each day of the year. Over the course of five years, you can reflect on your answers and see how your thoughts and perspectives evolve. It's a great way to track your personal growth and gain insight into your own life.

Who should read Q&A a Day?

  • Individuals who enjoy self-reflection and personal growth

  • People looking to capture and track their thoughts and experiences over time

  • Those who want to cultivate mindfulness and gratitude in their daily lives


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Art Therapy Books
 FAQs 

What's the best Art Therapy book to read?

While choosing just one book about a topic is always tough, many people regard Unfu*k Yourself as the ultimate read on Art Therapy.

What are the Top 10 Art Therapy books?

Blinkist curators have picked the following:
  • Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop
  • Expressive Therapies Continuum by Lisa D. Hinz
  • Art Heals by Shaun McNiff
  • The Creative Connection by Natalie Rogers
  • Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie
  • Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness
  • Art-Based Group Therapy by Bruce L. Moon
  • The Soul's Palette by Cathy A. Malchiodi
  • Introduction to Art Therapy by Bruce L. Moon
  • Playing and Reality by D. W. Winnicott

Who are the top Art Therapy book authors?

When it comes to Art Therapy, these are the authors who stand out as some of the most influential:
  • Gary John Bishop
  • Lisa D. Hinz
  • Shaun McNiff
  • Natalie Rogers
  • Melody Beattie