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Imagens simbolicas no adoecer : estudo descritivo sobre o processo arteterapeutico de pacientes oncologicos

Biblioteca Digital da Unicamp
Publication Date
  • Arte - Terapia
  • Cancer - Aspectos Psicologicos
  • Arte
  • Psicoterapia - Estudo De Casos
  • Saude Mental - Aspectos Psicologicos
  • Biology
  • Medicine
  • Psychology


This doctoral thesis deals with the introduction of art as a therapeutical resource, which is applied in the hospital context, focusing the use of artistic techniques especially in the psychotherapeutic process of oncologic patients. Based on different theoretical methods, this intervention has gradually been recognized and systematized, according to the obejctives and the number of assisted patients. In this clinical-qualitative study the aim was to analyse the psychodynamic evolution of the oncologic patients by registring and describing the process of Art Therapy of each one of them in a prospective sequence, which has taken place in the outpatient unit as well as in the clinical oncologic inpatient unit of Hospital das Clinicas at UNICAMP. The subjects were young adults who were given the diagnosis of bone tumor (Ewing?s sarcoma and osteosarcoma). The understanding of the subjective aspects and the imagetic expression of these patients has taken into account the use of three methods: analysis of verbal contents, analysis of graphic structures and symbolic analysis according to Junguian Analytical Psychology. Among the aspects which were discussed, we emphasize that, in a general view, the artistic expression establishes the imagetic language as a means of expression and comunication between patient and art therapist, in which it seems to occur, in some occasions, an unconscious exchange based on a pre-verbal language. The images that are projected in the artistic productions point towards the psychic dimension of the patients, revealing an extremely vast and complex universe, which seems to be far beyond the psychological aspects related to cancer. In this way, we observe the confluence between the conscious and unconscious world as well as the simultaneity between the personal unconcious and the collective unconscious that composes the gestalt of the production. We have also found the recurrence of images, which indicated the importance of the assimilation of its symbolic significance, being therefore necessary to integrate it into consciousness. We consider the hypothesis that the projected images represent the pathologic process itself in an imagetic dimension, not being only a consequence of the psychological impact in facing the diagnosis. We observe the presence of images, which seemed to represent transcendence, perhaps predicting the detachment of the material plan as the death of the physical body in case of confrontation with the imminent death. The images that represented these polarities were also recurrent (death and re-birth, day and night, destruction and creation, health and illness, among others), indicating the compensatory process for the imbalance caused by the illness and the personal conflicts. Art Therapy provided a gradual approach of contents, which at first were not tolerated by consciousness. Thus, through catharsis, which can be obtained by artistic activity, we could also observe the subject?s flow of psychic energy, what offered us indication for possible conflicts. Therefore, we consider that the subject?s psychic structure should be given a careful attention by the contact with images that makes him closer to the archaic contents of the psyche, being also necessary, in some occasions, the intevention which may offer an egoic strengthening, mainly in cases when the patient establishes contact with aspects related to the destructive components of the psyche, situations of loss, abandonment, limitation and death. We recognize, however, that although the artistic elaboration may bring to the surface elements both related to ilness and death, it is above all a process for the promotion of health

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