Crossing the Threshold: Creativity, Art therapy and Agoraphobia

by Millie Neufeld-Cumming

This study is an exploration into the nature of creativity and its function in the art therapy process with an adolescent client who has issues of anxiety, identity and agoraphobia. My interest in creativity has evolved directly out of my work as an art therapy student and a practicing art therapist over the past three years. During this time it has become clear to me through all aspects of my learning (clinical, academic and personal) that creativity is the heart and soul of this work. It is my intention here to demonstrate how and why this is the case. 

My thoughts on the relationship between creativity and therapy within the context of art therapy practice are presented in the introduction to this paper and then revisited in the discussion in the light of the material contained within the case study. The case study itself is presented as a retrospective analysis. My approach to research and art therapy practice is primarily phenomenological and existential though I have drawn from many sources. The literature review provides an overview of these sources with specific regard to my readings on the creative process, agoraphobia and the phenomena of anxiety and art therapy with adolescents.