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Art-Based Supervision Cultivating Therapeutic Insight Through Imagery

Art-Based Supervision is a unique text for graduate supervision classes and seminars as well as a resource for post-graduate supervisors and practitioners. It offers a new view of supervision, one that incorporates both images and words as tools to investigate and communicate the interactions that occur in therapy and in the systems in which clinicians work. The fundamental principles of supervision provided in the book are useful for anyone interested in exploring the use of images to support reflection, understanding, and empathy in their work. Full-colour images further enrich the narrative.

In addition to supervision courses, Art-based Supervision may be used for introductory art therapy, psychology, social work, and counselling courses for readers interested in a broad range of intimate examples of the challenges of therapeutic work and the use of response art to grasp nuanced communication.


  • List of Figures
  • About the Author
  • Foreword Preface Acknowledgements Introduction
  • 1. Fundamental Principals of Supervision
  • 2. A History of Art-based Supervision
  • 3. Creating a Space for Image Making
  • 4. Engaging Images Brought Into Art-Based Supervision
  • 5. Understanding Power
  • 6. Harm’s Touch: How We Are Affected by What We Witness
  • 7. Art-based Supervision in Graduate Education
  • 8. Postgraduate Art-based Supervision
  • 9. Interdisciplinary Art-based Supervision
  • 10. Termination: Finding Closure Glossary Index

Author Bio:

Barbara J. Fish, PhD, is an artist, art therapist, clinical counsellor, supervisor, and educator serving on the faculty of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Dr. Fish specializes in working with trauma, program development, and art-based supervision. She is currently exploring the use of response art in art-based research.


"Dr. Barbara Fish’s thoughtful and engaging book on art-based supervision is a must have for anyone interested in providing supervision for people in helping professions. Supervisors will gain skills in incorporating innovative art methods. Supervisees will come away with higher expectations for the supervisory relationship. It is a rich text, full of intimate examples of artwork from Dr. Fish's vast and unparalleled experience as a clinical supervisor. - Gussie Klorer, PhD, ATR-BC, HLM, professor in the art therapy counselling program at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and author of Expressive Therapy with Troubled Children.

"Art-Based Supervision is destined to become a resource for both students and supervisors. It enables readers to appreciate the importance of the image in a realm where words are often thought to suffice. Fish leads by example, sharing her own art as a powerful way to know herself and stay aware of power issues that inevitably arise in supervision. This volume elegantly bridges the chasm between art and clinical practice in art therapy.” - Pat B. Allen, PhD, ATR, HLM, visiting faculty in the Prescott College expressive arts therapy program.

"As the profession of art therapy matures, rediscovering its roots in art, this stimulating volume is a most timely contribution to the literature—which continues to grow at a rapid pace, but only slowly on this topic. Yet nothing is more central to becoming a good art therapist than thoughtful, sensitive supervision! To explore therapeutic interactions through art makes such good common and clinical sense. Thanks to Barbara Fish for this eloquent, most welcome book." - Judith A. Rubin, PhD, ATR-BC, HLM, president of Expressive Media and faculty at the University of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Institute.

Art-Based Supervision Cultivating Therapeutic Insight Through Imagery

Author: Barbara Fish

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