My Art Therapy Books and Other Favorite Reads

My Art Therapy Books and Other Favorite Reads

Hello, I'll share with you today my art therapy books and a couple of my favorite reads from my overall book collection that are related to healing and personal development.

You can read below for the book list (scroll to the bottom if you just want the list of books), or you can also watch a video where I share about the books:



My Favorite Art Therapy Books

Handbook of Art Therapy

The first book I have in mind is The Handbook of Art Therapy. And this is by Cathy Malchiodi. She is one of the most well known and active art therapists in this field right now. This book is mostly about the theories and approaches in art therapy and how it can work with different psychotherapy approaches, so this is very focused on helping those who are already in the field of art therapy and working as an art therapist.

So this does require some knowledge in psychology theory. It might not be something you want to read as a first book or as an introduction to art therapy, so I also want to share another book by Cathy Malchiodi.

That one is called the Art Therapy Sourcebook. This one is really great for anyone to read and it might have been one of the first books I read about art therapy, and it just gives you all the basics about what is art therapy and how you can apply art therapy approaches.

In the book, it actually gives you some concrete, easy to do exercises that you can do on your own at home. So it is wonderful for people who are looking for introductory art therapy books. I really recommend anyone who wants to read about art therapy to read Cathy Malchiodi’s Art Therapy Sourcebook.

Art and Healing

The second book that I want to share with you as my favorites is, Barbara Ganim’s Art and Healing.

So I don't actually have that with me right now, but I remember reading it several years ago when I first learned about art therapy and it was really awesome how she explained healing through the power of art and healing through expressive art making.

And she guides you through these exercises and prompts that really helps you to look inside yourself and really, it's great for self discovery, it's great for people who are struggling with a physical illness and find that strength within themselves and use art in that process.

Art is a Way of Knowing

So the third book I want to share with you is Pat Allen's Art is a Way of Knowing. This is really a precious book and I just love this book so much.

I really love Pat Allen's approach to art therapy and in this book she shares so much about her own personal process of using art as a way to learn more about herself and really it inspires you to do the same.

It really goes in depth about the discoveries that she makes, the things that she learns, the difficulties she runs into, the challenges, the inner critic that comes up sometimes. It was really nice to read about that and feel like I'm not alone in my struggles.

This is really great for someone who want to be inspired by an art therapist to understand yourself more through art.

Art Heals

The last art therapy book that I want to share with you all that is a favorite of mine is Art Heals book by Shaun McNiff.

And this one I actually recently started reading and I haven't finished yet, but this is so awesome. I've really been enjoying his writing so much. (I've read other books by him as well in the past).

In this book, he really goes in depth about why art therapy works and he really connects it well to spirituality, to existential questions, how art can solve that.

He shares so much about what happens when we make art - the difficulties we face, the things that we discover, the progress that we make and because he's an art therapist, he shares a lot about his work with different kinds of people, clients, populations, and how they kind of grow, and you can also see artworks in here.

So this is one of the most, to me I think, moving writing about art therapy and what it can do to our lives.

Expressive Therapies Continuum

From here on out, the books will be more in-depth books on art therapy. If you want to really understand more deeply on how art therapists design their session and choose specific materials, this one is book is the best: Expressive Therapies Continuum:A Framework for Using Art in Therapy by Lisa D. Hinz.

Like some of the books I've mentioned here, this is one of the books I read during my art therapy training. I come back to this book again as I work with different clients and it has helped me refresh my mind on why I need to choose certain materials and how I can work towards the therapeutic goal when I do art therapy with folks.

You'll see the framework and guideline that art therapists use and base their decisions on when choosing materials and methods for the art therapy session.

Childhood and Art Therapy

This book is by one of the "founding mothers" of the art therapy field, Edith Kramer. If you are interested in doing art therapy with children and want to understand more about the approach, this is a great book.

Kramer writes in a clear and easily understandable way about children's psychology the reasons behind their behaviors, and how art can be a great way to help them.

One of my favorite parts of this book is when she describes the difference between play vs. art. If you don't read the whole thing, definitely read that part! So enlightening.

Art Therapy and Clinical Neuroscience

So this one is a bit academic and may make some of you dizzy...but I still wanted to include this in my list.

I am not the one who likes to read research papers on a Sunday morning, but this one is a good one. It's not as difficult as you would think and the authors write in a simple way.

I come back to this book again and again. This is written by Richard Carr and Noah Hass-Cohen who beautifully weaves in research and evidence that explains the healing power of art therapy.

If you are wondering about what makes art therapy therapeutic and want to see the research behind it, make sure to read this one. There is none like this out there!

So, that's all the art therapy books I wanted to share but I have 2 more books that are not art therapy books but are just my favorites from just my whole collection of books that I have at home (mostly personal development related).

My Overall Favorite Books

The Dark Side of the Light Chasers

The first one I want to share is - I have so many bookmarks on this because I go back to it so many times, that's how much I love this book, the Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford.

I found this book several years ago and I can't even remember how I found it, but it has really changed my life on how I view others and how I view myself. If you are really looking for a book to heal yourself and to change your perspective on things so that you can feel more at peace, calm, and confident in yourself, then this is really the book you want to go for.

And it's so mind-blowing when you first read it.

You Can Heal Your Life

The other book that I want to share is You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay.

Louise Hay is such an amazing person, and she has been such a great teacher to so many people who've been struggling with physical illness, emotional issues, relationships issues, work issues, financial issues.

Basically she tells you that in order to heal your body and other mental health issues you really need to look at what you are believing, and what kinds of believes you are holding onto that might be negative that you want to let go of.

So the one thing that she really preaches is that all or most of the problems we have in life, especially physical problems or emotional problems in life are caused by our lack of self-love.

She goes really in depth about what kind of lack of self-love, or what kind of fear that we have that might be causing or causing the continuation of the illness/problem, or an emotional state.

The Essential Rumi

This is a book that I go back to again and again, whenever I want to come back to the truth and come back to my spiritual self.

This book is a collection of the poems written by the Sufi philosopher and poet who is known as Rumi. Even though Rumi was alive many years ago in a far away place from the U.S., his writings ring true for me and many modern people right now no matter where they live.

Rumi writes about suffering, love, learning about life, and most of all, about divinity, spirit, Source, God, however you call it. His writing is moving and stays in your mind for a long time.

Power vs. Force

This is one of the most powerful books you can read in your life. This book is by David R. Hawkins, a teacher, researcher, a psychiatrist, who has written extensively about kinesiology (a method using the body to tell truth from falsehood) and about expanding your consciousness.

I really respect David Hawkins, as he has experienced first-hand what it is like to be awakened and shares the things that he has realized in that process.

Everything that he says in the book will ring true for you and you begin to understand the world as well as why people act or behave a certain way. It's amazing what you can learn!

One of the most recent books I've read is Transcending the Levels of Consciousnes, which was so eye-opening for me.

The List of Books

So, to recap, here are my art therapy book favorites:

  1. Handbook of Art Therapy - Cathy Malchiodi / Art Therapy Sourcebook

  2. Art and Healing - Barbara Ganim

  3. Art is a Way of Knowing - Pat Allen

  4. Art Heals - Shaun McNiff

  5. Expressive Therapies Continuum - Lisa D. Hinz

  6. Childhood and Art Therapy - Edith Kramer

  7. Art Therapy and Clinical Neuroscience - Richard Carr & Noah Hass-Cohen

My other favorite personal development books:

  1. The Dark Side of the Light Chasers - Debbie Ford

  2. You Can Heal Your Life - Louise Hay

  3. The Essential Rumi - Translated by Coleman Barks

  4. Power vs. Force - David R. Hawkins

Thank you for reading! If you have a favorite art therapy or other persona development related book, let me know in the comments below. I'm always on the hunt for the next good read :)


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