Learn About Art Therapy With These Four Introductory Art Therapy Books

Are you thinking about the next book to read? How about picking up a book on art therapy and start learning more about the therapeutic power of art! With the help of these books, you can learn about:

  • How great works of art can help us manage tensions and confusions in our everyday life.
  • How art can be used to both treat psychological distress and help manage physical pain and symptoms.
  • How art can be instrumental in understanding our unexplored inner world.
  • A number of therapeutic exercises with art that you yourself can try to start your journey of self-perception, expression and actualization.
  • What the scientific basis of art therapy is.
  • What an art therapy session looks like.

Continue reading this blog to learn more about the topics above! In this blog post, we will introduce you to four introductory art therapy books. Let’s have a look!


Art as Therapy

Alain de Botton, John Armstrong

What is art for? In this engaging, lively, and controversial new book, bestselling philosopher Alain de Botton, with art historian John Armstrong, propose a new way of looking at art, suggesting that it can be useful, relevant, and, above all else, therapeutic for its audiences.

De Botton argues that certain great works of art offer clues on managing the tensions and confusions of everyday life. Art as Therapy is packed with 150 examples of outstanding art, with chapters on Love, Nature, Money, and Politics outlining how these works can help with common difficulties.


The Art Therapy Sourcebook

Cathy A. Malchiodi

Art therapy is a process that helps people of all ages to express and understand feelings, interests, relationships, and self-perceptions through art activities. It has been useful in treating emotional trauma and grief, as a supplement to pain and symptom management, to address psychological distress, and to encourage self-growth and actualization.

The Art Therapy Sourcebook is a guide for people who want to use art as a way of understanding themselves better. It starts with information on necessary supplies and takes the reader on a journey toward understanding the connection between artistic images and human emotions.


Essential Art Therapy Exercises: Effective Technique to Manage Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD

Leah Guzman

From drawing a representation of your favorite song, to writing affirmations and taking photos to match, these therapeutic exercises will help you overcome the mindsets that are holding you back and lead you toward inner peace. Some take only five minutes, others up to an hour, but all of them explore a range of artistic mediums, so you can choose exactly what works for you.

This book offers:

  • The art of getting better: These sophisticated exercises are a springboard for insight, self-expression, mindfulness, acceptance, and self-compassion.
  • Insights and questions: Every activity describes its benefits and offers thoughtful prompts to help you get the most out of each experience.
  • No experience required: You don’t need to be an artist to use art therapy. It’s about the experience of creating—without worry or judgement.


Handbook of Art Therapy

Cathy A. Malchiodi ed.

This essential handbook provides a complete and practical overview of art therapy: how it works, how it can be used, and with whom.

  • Interventions for children, adolescents, and adults facing a variety of clinical problems and life challenges are demonstrated in the book. Case-based chapters from leading practitioners illuminate major theoretical perspectives, including psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioral, developmental, and other approaches.
  • Also examined is what current research in psychology and neuroscience can tell us about the scientific basis for art therapy.
  • Discussing applications in individual psychotherapy, couple and family treatment, and group work, the Handbook includes over 100 samples of drawings and other artwork.
  • The process of art therapy is illustrated in helping clients manage and cope with such problems as trauma, sexual abuse, developmental and learning disabilities, drug and alcohol misuse, serious mental illness, and medical illness.


We hope these four books provide you with an introduction to art therapy! Notice that these books are no replacement for an actual art therapy process. If you believe art therapy can help you, we encourage you to seek a local art therapist. Thank you for reading!


Reference: Goodreads

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L. Samuel Gracida

L. Samuel Gracida

Samuel is Sam's Fans Operating Director and our primary blogger!

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