by Kate Leppard
This book intends to challenge perceptions of disability and begin to see the bigger picture of ability and how humanistic art therapy can inspire, empower and create space for healing with adults with developmental disabilities. By illuminating ten activities that have been inspired or spontaneously created by participants in art therapy sessions, this book demonstrates the benefits of using a humanistic approach to art therapy. This book explores how art therapy has strengthened identity formation, increased verbal and non-verbal communication, encouraged a sense of belonging, developed cognition and enabled integration. Over two years of art therapy, two groups of participants have found their voice and have begun to recognize their abilities and have decided to be known as differently-abled adults and will be referred to in this way throughout the book. By exploring what it means to have a disability, in the microcosm, it is my hope we explore the macrocosm and differently-abled adults are recognized for their achievements and we celebrate those who step fearlessly into the art therapy studio ready to explore themselves and reclaim their identity.