EFAT Conference in Riga Art therapy


17 Jun 2023




Externe Veranstaltungen

Poster Session at EFAT in Riga

Kunsttherapie Speyer Rheinland Pfalz

Art Therapy, Rituals and Culture. How can cultural rituals be productively adopted for art therapy?

June 17, 2023
10:15 AM – 10:30 AM

at EFAT Conference 2023 “Growing*Together”

My work deals with the topic “How can cultural rituals be productively adopted for art therapy?

This poster we will investigate the question of how rituals can be productively adopted for art therapy. This is particularly to be discussed in the context of transcultural art therapy in relation to trauma for migrants and refugees.

Rituals have always played an important role in every culture. They serve as a means of transmitting values and beliefs, as well as connecting people and communities. In art therapy, rituals can be used to express and explore cultural meanings by implementing them in a creative and artistic way.

Transcultural art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on the cultural background and perspectives of its clients and develops and treats them in the creative process. It is about recognizing the importance of cultural factors such as ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion as well as in particular culture and rites and taking them into account in the therapeutic process. In Transcultural Art Therapy, we work to develop a deeper understanding of the cultural beliefs and value systems of our clients in order to build a better relationship and help them better understand and cope with their challenges.

Transcultural art therapy as a young discipline still faces many challenges: the recognition of the culture and rites of a Western-influenced psychotherapy, the abstinence of the therapist due to the “affecting factor” due to the same origin, just to focus on two challenges for this contribution.

Using the example “Rauhnächte” (origin in celtic culture, old European ritual) the application of culture and rituals is explained in this example. The “Rauhnächten” are 12 days between 25 December and 5 January and derive from an old European custom. Each rough night has a special theme that can be adapted with art therapy methods. The themes can be creatively implemented and reflected in order to undertake an art-therapeutic journey to oneself.

The presented book and study “Rauhnächte – a creative journey to yourself” is presented. The book offers readers a unique and profound opportunity to express and process their own emotions and thoughts through a combination of rituals of the night. By using the book as a workbook, readers can do the exercises directly in the book and write down their reflections and creativity. Readers are given the freedom to carry out the creative examination according to their individual preferences and needs, whether through collages, painting, photography or writing reflection. 

Against this background, a prospect for further adaptations is to be created and discussed. I am happy and look forward to a productive and fruitful exchange at European level on EFAT.


Rickert, Regula (2009): Lehrbuch der Kunsttherapie. Param Verlag, Ahlerstedt.

Schuster, Martin (2008): Rituale, Kunst und Kunsttherapie. Medizinisch Wissenschaftliche Verlag, Berlin.

Wohlfart, Ernestine; Zaumseil, Manfred (2006): Transkulturelle Psychiatrie – Interkulturelle Psychotherapie. Interdisziplinäre Theorie und Praxis. Springer Verlag, Heidelberg.


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