Picturing Organizations: Further explorations of art therapy's potential for putting organizations on the couch.

Westwood, Jill and Gilroy, Andrea. 2006. 'Picturing Organizations: Further explorations of art therapy's potential for putting organizations on the couch.'. In: 3rd Art of Management & Organization International Conference. Pedagogical University, Krakow, Poland 5-8 Sept 2006. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

Art Therapy is a specialized approach that brings together art and psychotherapy, although its focus is the creative art process. Art-making in art therapy takes place within a relationship with an art therapist; this can be on an individual basis or with small, median or large groups. Participants are invited to make spontaneous visual representations that facilitate interaction, expression, exploration and discovery of thoughts, feelings and perceptions that may neither be known nor understood, the premise being that the unconscious can be expressed more fully in images than words. The assumption is that access to hidden and unconscious influences that may be at work within an individual or system of relationships - such as those within small, median and large groups, and in organizations - will be facilitated and made available for conscious thought.

At the ‘Art of Management’ conference in Paris, 2004, Jill Westwood conducted an experiential workshop titled ‘Picturing Your Organization’ that began to explore the use of art therapy in organizational management. The workshop introduced participants to art therapy’s potential for exploring their organizations and produced a rich array of visual material that represented some of the unconscious processes at work in their workplace. Ideas and reflections on this and other art therapy groups conducted in organizations will be presented as a springboard for further explorations, the aim being to both convey and develop our thinking about the potential of art therapy in the world of organizational management through a collaborative visual and verbal dialogue in a workshop setting. Participants will therefore be invited to actively engage in the art therapy process and make a visual response to the presentation and, in so doing, to collaborate in the exploration of art therapy’s potential in the world of organizational management.

Dr Andrea Gilroy is Reader in Art Psychotherapy at Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK. She is an experienced art therapy educator and researcher. Her publications include ‘Art Therapy: A Handbook’ (1992) edited with Diane Waller; ‘Art & Music: Therapy & Research’ (1995) edited with Colin Lee; ‘The Changing Shape of Art Therapy: new developments in theory & practice’ (2000) edited with Gerry McNeilly; and ‘Art Therapy, Research & Evidence-Based Practice’ (forthcoming, 2006) + numerous articles, papers and chapters in other publications.

Jill Westwood is the Head of the Master of Art Therapy & Graduate Diploma in Expressive Therapies programmes at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. She has a fine arts background and has worked in adult psychiatry as an art therapist in the UK. She is currently undertaking doctoral studies at UWS into the theories that shape the education of art therapists in Australia.

Andrea and Jill have formed a working alliance that links the worlds of art therapy in the UK and Australia. They are involved in developing research, visual practices and arts-based research methods employed in art therapy and art therapy research.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Other)

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Unit for Psychotherapeutic Studies


7 September 2006["eprint_fieldopt_dates_date_type_shown" not defined]

Event Location:

Pedagogical University, Krakow, Poland

Date range:

5-8 Sept 2006

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

23 Feb 2015 08:34

Last Modified:

11 Jul 2017 10:12



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