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The Art of Note Writing: Art Therapy and Clinical Notes

10 February 2019

This paper by Ali Coles explores how the writing of art therapy clinical notes can be a creative practice and discusses implications for associated therapeutic work.



The author argues that the process of writing clinical notes, as well as the aesthetic qualities of the notes which are produced, can be considered as part of the wider artistry of the art therapist. Through reflections on her own experiences of clinical note writing, the author describes how a creative approach to this activity might benefit the therapeutic process and be helpful to other professionals involved in a client’s care.

"This Soundings paper explores the relationship between art therapists’ artistry and the writing of art therapy clinical notes. I am writing from the perspective of an art psychotherapist employed by the UK National Health Service within adult mental health services. By clinical notes I mean the ‘official’ notes of therapy sessions, which can be accessed by other professionals within the team caring for the client, and by the client on request, and which are sometimes known as progress notes..." 

This article by Ali Coles has been published
in The Canadian Art Therapy Association Journal Volume 31, 2018 - Issue 2: The Art of Words: Expressive Writing in Art Therapy 

This article has been made FREE ACCESS for three months here