Frances F Kaplan Essay

375 WordsJul 15, 20092 Pages
Frances F. Kaplan lives in Oregon and teaches graduate art therapy at Portland University and Maryland College. Kaplan is a well known art therapist and has published widely, speaks at conferences nationwide and also has worked with peace organizations in her life time. The inspiration drives that Frances F. Kaplan solemn and demanding message to make art therapy more credible and scientific. In the opening, she states her objective "to stimulate research, thought, and discussion that will, over time, culminate in a fully developed theory of art therapy that is firmly grounded in the latest scientific evidence" (Kaplan, 2000, p.124). Supporting study and corroboration of the discipline has been a main focal point for Kaplan. Kaplan not only has experience but familiarity in art psychotherapy. Kaplan devotes her time to helping people through oriented art activities as well as, helping people through emotional and cognitive deficits through art. Kaplan also suggests an art based theory rather then based on psychotherapeutic which somewhat resolves the debate involving art in therapy verses art as therapy. It is in this chapter that Kaplan reveals her knowledge of and experience with art psychotherapy, but it seems to this writer that she also reveals her ambivalence regarding her professional identity. Does she want to help people "make special" (Dissanayake, 1992) via art-oriented activities and enhance their lives (p. 58), or help people work through cognitive and emotional deficits through art? She has also suggested that developing an "art-based theory" (p. 105) instead of one based on psychotherapeutic constructs will possibly resolve the age old debate between art as therapy and art in therapy. I thought this debate had long ago dissolved. For me, the thrust as an educator and practitioner was to know and to teach both approaches, and to

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