Art as therapy: Can art function as therapy?

Cathrine Tornkvist Sørensen, Emilie Hagen Rieder, Thilde Cecilia Funch & Amanda Olivia Jacobsen

Student thesis: Basic Project


This thesis will contain psychological theories of respectively Sigmund Freud and Irvin D. Yalom. These theories include the psychoanalysis, which contains the terms of narcissism, repression and sublimation as coping mechanisms, and the existential psychotherapy comprising Yalom's theory of isolation. These theories will be applied on two selected cases which are the artists Julie Nord and Louise Bourgeois. The two cases will be used to compare results, so the thesis statement will be answered adequate. We combine Yalom's theory about isolation and Freuds theories about coping mechanism to the cases and discuss from this, whether our thesis statement is right. The results from each of the artists will be used to determine whether it is a common thing, that artists in general uses art as a form of therapy. Our thesis shows, that our selected cases shares a similar history of traumas that they both have tried to process through work of art. The thesis concludes that our two artists uses similar coping mechanisms in facing their repressed traumas, and that they both share a history of isolation throughout these traumas, which shows us that there is in fact a combination between art and therapy.

EducationsBasic - Bachelor Study Programme in Humanities, (Bachelor Programme) Basic
Publication date28 May 2018
Number of pages64
SupervisorsBjarne Sode Funch