1. Gender Issues in Art Therapy
2. The book review
3. FREE Download Art Exercise

Gender Issues in Art Therapy

Title: Gender Issues in Art Therapy
Author: Susan Hogan
Date published: 2002
Page length: 242

Gender Issues in Art Therapy

Amazon purchase link: Gender Issues in Art Therapy
Goodreads link: Gender Issues in Art Therapy


Art therapy enables the client and therapist to explore issues that may ordinarily be difficult to articulate in words; one such issue is the complexity of gender, which can be a subject of therapy in a range of ways. Gender identity is at the heart of our self-understanding.

The contributors to this book cover such topics as internalised homophobia in both therapist and client, art and pregnancy, art therapy with women only and men-only groups, feminist art therapy, gay and lesbian issues, and gender stereotypes. These wide-ranging papers cover both theoretical and practical topics, giving clinical examples and instances of clients’ artwork in illustration.

The contributors, all established art therapists, bring a wide range of experiences and perspectives to the topic of gender in art therapy. Professionals and students in this field will find the insights contained in this book both fascinating and valuable.

Book Content:

  • Introduction: Contesting Identities Susan Hogan, University of Derby
  • Chapter 1 Feminist Art Therapy: Contributions from Feminist Theory and Contemporary Art Practice Nancy Viva Davis Halifax, Vermont College of Norwich University
  • Chapter 2 Just a Stage I’m Going Through: Reflections on a Placement in an Adolescent Psychiatric Unit Hilary Bichovsky, Manchester Adult Education
  • Chapter 3 Art Therapy with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Clients Donna Addison, art therapist, community mental health agency, Illinois
  • Chapter 4 Singing with Pleasure and Shouting with Anger: Working With Gay and Lesbian Clients in Art Therapy Jean Fraser, art therapist, adult mental health and JudithWaldman, adult mental health settings, NHS
  • Chapter 5 From the Peninsula: The Geography of Gender Issues in Art Therapy Maggie Jones, art therapist, adult mental health, UK and New Zealand
  • Chapter 6 Working with Men Marian Liebmann, art therapist, mental health and Bristol University
  • Chapter 7 A Mediterranean Perspective on the Art Therapist’s Sexual Orientation José Batista Loureiro De Oliveira, independent researcher, photographer, teacher and writer
  • Chapter 8 A Discussion of the Use of Art Therapy with Women who are Pregnant or who have Recently Given Birth Susan Hogan, University of Derby
  • Chapter 9 Re-Visions on Group Art Therapy with Women who have Experienced Domestic and Sexual Violence Nancy Slater, Ben-Gurion University, Israel
  • Chapter 10 Decolonisation: Third World Women and Conflicts in Feminist Perspectives and Art Therapy Savneet Talwar, Southern Illinois University
  • Chapter 11 Challenging Invisibility – Outrageous Agers Rosy Martin, Loughborough University


Gender issues in art therapy is a book focused on the impact of gender on client work. Understanding the demographics of therapists should also be considered given that statistics state the gender make-up of therapists consists of at least 70% women and possibly higher.

In terms of client work, the book covers a wide range of topics that can be classified as gender issues including:

  • Women including feminism, pregnancy, sexual and domestic violence
  • Men
  • LGBT

Also included is some content on geographical and lifespan-related issues (adolescence).

Gender Issues in Art Therapy is written by a variety of contributors who have experience in addressing gender issues in client care as well as working through their own issues that involve developing identity through gender and sexual orientation.

The book, edited by Susan Hogan, and published in 2003 addresses the continuing need for evolving psychological models that address gender issues and the timeline of how society has changed its attitude to these issues.

Since the book was published in 2003, there has been increasing acceptance of LGBT, particularly through the legislation of same-sex marriage. There is still an increasing need for understanding and education of transgender issues for therapists.

Books that address gender issues provide therapists with a specific understanding of the needs of clients who are impacted by issues of gender and sexuality and help develop the toolkit that therapists need to provide a broader understanding of their client base.


Below is an excerpt from the book that can provide a reflection on our perception of the utility of art and how it can translate to our perceptions of gender, labels, and social norms.

Excerpt from page 98: Chapter 5 From the Peninsula: The Geography of Gender Issues in Art Therapy Maggie Jones, art therapist, adult mental health, UK and New Zealand

Art therapy, within this straight-weighted pre-eminence, has the opportunity to incorporate the less-than-straight line. Art by its very nature has the deviant potential for ambiguity. It has the capacity for holding many notions, many angles, many colours, and places, in a way that the written or spoken word rarely allows. Beyond the contour of the canvas or the sculpture, there is both the specific physical space in which it exists and the sensory space in which the observer allows the image to exist.

  • Use this text to reflect on what art, gender, labels, and social norms mean to you.
  • Are they defined or are they undefined?
  • Are you certain of your views or are you still exploring your understanding of these concepts?
  • You can choose to reflect on some of the concepts or all of them together.
  • It’s your art and your choices to make.

Purchase: If this book sounds interesting to you, it can be purchased from Amazon. You can also view the contents pages and a few of the introductory chapters in the sample.

Amazon purchase link:

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Book Review: Gender Issues in Art Therapy

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