Give yourself a chance to be an artist again is a statement that occurs early
in the book and by its end John Graham-Poole has given the reader a way to
carry out whatever plan came to mind when his/her eye was caught by the
cover, without excessive exhortation or the need to wade through
complicated medical or alternative-medical explanations. His plan is simple,
but not as simple and daunting as the usual one for this type of book - he
doesnt just say, Just do it! but gives the reader a range of activities that
should prove helpful, and he does this through stories of others hes has
known or known about who have gone through similar experiences.
The key elements in a successful episode of creative arts therapy are: giving
the client the idea to try it; giving him or her the motivation to begin; allowing
him or her to develop a plan; and then to continue through to carry out the
plan and benefit from the experience. John Graham-Poole scores high on all
of these elements here, and the book should work well as either a self-help
book or a book suggested by a doctor or a therapist.
The book itself is simply and attractively designed, from the cover which is
attractive without being artistic through layout, typography, and language.
This book is not overly scholarly but at the same time provides scientific
evidence with minimal but appropriate reference which justifies the statements
where they appear to require it. In other words, there is enough backing for
the words here, even enough for your doctor. While most arts or poetry
therapists would not learn much new here, they would also not have
much to quarrel with this book.
Graham-Poole, John, Illness and the Art of Creative Self-Expression.
Oakland, CA, New Harbinger Publications, 2000, foreword by Patch Adams.
206 pp., paperback, $13. New Harbinger Publications, 5674 Shattuck Ave.,
Oakland, CA 94609. http://www.newharbinger.com
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