chapter  4
18 Pages

Demystifying the Individualistic Approach to Self-Care

Sewing as a Metaphorical Process for Documenting Relational and Communal Care in Disability Culture
WithChun-shan (Sandie) Yi

The concept of self-care for art therapists often focuses on efforts to attend to one’s well-being on an individual basis. Western approaches to “self-help” overlook the pluralistic nature of human desire for relational and communal care. The absence of disability culture in one’s life can further reinforce that disability is a condition that needs clinical, professional interventions in order to heal. To demystify the individualistic approach to self-care and healing, this chapter explores the meaning of care relationships through sewing wearable art objects about the lived experiences of disabled activists, to illustrate the need for a sustainable self-care practice for art therapists who have experienced disability and/or illness. This chapter challenges the existing self-care strategies in the field of art therapy by examining the metaphor of sewing and repairing has on disability narratives and complicates the meaning and practice of self-care for the field of art therapy.