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Embodiment in Art Therapy

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Eastern medicine treats the full person. They understand that the symptoms that are found in the body came because of unrest or a dis-ease in the mental, emotional or spiritual aspects of the entire person. They treat all three aspects of the body so they can affect a cure rather than just putting symptoms in remission.Many critics say that we should somehow merge the eastern and western medicines but this is part of the culture that is difficult to understand. Therapists, on the other hand, are attempting to work with the whole body and to make sure that they work with the whole person. Therapy attempts to integrate the body, mind, and spirit so that the individual becomes aware of themselves and the world around them.It is not known why detachment from the body happens in some situations but there are many psychological disorders that show that the individual can mentally, emotionally and spiritually detach from the body. Often staying in the body can become very painful and detaching can be the best way to stay safe. It is easy for someone to detach because they do not see the body as being part of the emotional and physical experience. It is known that we learn to detach from our bodies so it happens on a daily basis. We operate in what Johnson (2007) calls a mind/body dualism. This dualism happens because it is the way that the human brain thinks because of its conditioning. Johnson says that the body hides from our conscious awareness because we perceive what we are experiencing through our minds rather than through our bodies. He quotes Michael Polanyis (1969) words to illustrate this point:Although we live in a dualistic world we need to help clients bring together mind, body, and spirit to help them create more balance in their lives.