Somatic Art Therapy: Alleviating Pain and Trauma through Art

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This book focuses on somatic art therapy for treating acute or chronic pain, especially resulting from physical and/or psychological trauma. It discusses the role of the psyche in physical healing and encourages combining of traditional medicine and holistic perspectives in treatment.

Translated from the French text, this volume provides case studies and examples from the author’s art psychotherapy practice of 40 years, including the four-quadrants method. Chapters review the current treatments for chronic pain and PTSD and focus on art therapeutic methods to treat those conditions, such as art therapy protocols for PTSD. The book exposes the underlying rational of somatic art therapy, covering art therapy effectiveness, Levine’s somatic dissociation, van der Kolk’s somatic memory, and Scaer’s procedural memory concepts. Also featured are chapter contributions from art therapists Sophie Boudrias, Mylène Piché, and Dr. Patcharin Sughondhabirom.

By providing a unique, clear and concise synthesis of available art therapy methods this text will appeal both to the general and professional public, including professional art therapists, psychotherapists, helping relation professionals, and medical practitioners.


3 words for Johanne Hamel “Sweet“, “Deep” and “Original“.

3 words for this book of hers “A MUST”, “A MUST” and “A MUST” as well as “Fulfilling“.

It’s like reading a love story in which there are multiple encounters between “Theory” and “Practice”. Johanne Hamel is extremely successful in creating a connection between “Theory” and “Practice”, using her own examples from her art psychotherapy practice of many years.

-Jo Sughondhabirom, MD, RCAT, International Program of Art Therapy in Thailand

Johanne Hamel has expanded the healing potential of Art Therapy by incorporating somatic processing, providing her students and clients with the opportunity to gain a deeper awareness about the mind-body connection in emotional healing and wellbeing. As a somatic art therapist, Johanne Hamel developed a 6-days intensive workshop in Somatic art therapy and now she has provided us with this valuable text on Somatic art therapy, first published in French and now in English. Although, releasing trauma from the body may not be a new concept in the field of mental health, blending art therapy interventions with somatic processing in trauma treatment is a promising new concept in the field of Art Therapy.

-From the Foreword, Lucille Proulx, MA, ATR, RCAT, executive director, CiiAT- The Canadian International Institute of Art Therapy.

About the Author:

Johanne Hamel, DPs, psychologist and art psychotherapist, specializes in Somatic art therapy as well as in Dreamwork and art therapy. She is an International lecturer in Canada, Europe, USA and Thailand.

Hélène Hamel is a self-employed translator who holds an Honors degree in translation and has been working mainly from English to French for more than 30 years.

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