• Birth shock: exploring pregnancy, birth and the transition to motherhood using participatory arts

      Hogan, Susan; Baker, C.; Cornish, Shelagh; McCloskey, Paula; Watts, Lisa; University of Derby,; College of Health & Social Care Research Centre (Demeter Press, 2015-09)
      Natal Signs: Cultural Representations of Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting explores some of the ways in which reproductive experiences are taken up in the rich arena of cultural production. The chapters in this collection pose questions, unsettle assumptions, and generate broad imaginative spaces for thinking about representation of pregnancy, birth, and parenting. They demonstrate the ways in which practices of consuming and using representations carry within them the productive forces of creation. Bringing together an eclectic and vibrant range of perspectives, this collection offers readers the possibility to rethink and reimagine the diverse meanings and practices of representations of these significant life events. Engaging theoretical reflection and creative image making, the contributors explore a broad range of cultural signs with a focus on challenging authoritative representations in a manner that seeks to reveal rather than conceal the insistently problematic and contestable nature of image culture. Natal Signs gathers an exciting set of critically engaged voices to reflect on some of life’s most meaningful moments in ways that affirm natality as the renewed promise of possibility.
    • Unpacking gender in art therapy: The elephant at the art therapy easel

      Hogan, Susan; Cornish, Shelagh; University of Derby,; Health & Social Care Research Centre (2014-10-28)
      A national survey of registered art therapists in Britain was undertaken to create both quantitative and qualitative data about how ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation influence the therapeutic relationship. A tick-box scale was used alongside more open questions. This article presents the initial findings of the research and will focus on gender issues in the art therapy relationship; it will elucidate some of the ways in which art therapists conceptualise gender in the therapeutic alliance. The research indicates that the overwhelming majority of art therapists think that their own gender is very important to the therapeutic encounter. The personal preference of the client, personal history and presenting issues, which may be gender related, are highlighted by both male and female respondents. Art therapists seek to be aware and non-judgemental regarding gender. An interesting finding highlights that the transference gender might not correspond to the biological sex, suggesting that some art therapists have a ‘mobile’ understanding of gender, and are keen not to foreclose conceptual possibilities because of gender. This would also seem to indicate a permeation of postmodernist ideas into art therapy thinking.