A Beautiful Adventure - When Artists and Therapists Walk Hand in Hand

Some of my Facebook friends are artists; some are therapists and healers. Two comments in an online discussion set me thinking. One, that art is therapeutic. And two, that therapy is an art. Here are two works: a prehistoric stencilled hand from the cave at Pech Merl, France and 'Improvisation 26' by Wassily Kandinsky, 1912. Art? therapy? Both? My friends' nuanced statements certainly do not imply that art and therapy are identical twins. So how are they different? The arts and therapy can work together in an intimate and rewarding relationship. That has been known and practised since ancient times. The shaman was a kind of therapist who used dance and song to help release demons. Today a m

Life, Death and Big Decisions in Our Hands

The battle for and against assisted suicide, what used to be called mercy killing, is always fierce and heartfelt. But in the State of Victoria in democratic Australia an act to make it legal for the terminally ill is close to being passed in parliament’s Upper House. And then it will become legal. In some countries it is legal already. To take the responsibility for ending a life, even your own, is momentous. And there has been plenty of passion around the euthanasia debate, with valuable and compassionate considerations on both sides. These are widely accessible and most likely you will know them. I want to look from a different direction. Humans have a complicated, conflicted and often ir

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