chapter  35
10 Pages

Sense of Place

Edith Kramer's Wisdom for Times of Isolation and Dissociation
WithSusan Ainlay Anand

Edith Kramer carried her “place” within and this shaped her identity, provided a special “rootedness,” and played a role in her approach to art making, art therapy, and the way she lived her life. In this chapter, Susan Anand explores how people can experience disruption to their sense of place as a result of illness and loss. In her role teaching medical trainees about art therapy and group therapy, she has witnessed similar issues with healthcare professionals, particularly doctors from other countries that have migrated to the US for training. This chapter explores the use of art making and art therapy as a decolonizing, community-building experience in art therapy groups that Anand co-leads with psychiatry residents as part of their training. She has found that Kramer’s art as therapy approach and ideas on how to touch home within can be effective in restoring a sense of community and connection for both patients and the doctors who treat them. Through a detailed description of a training model for residents in a psychiatry program, along with illustrations of patient and resident artwork and comments, we learn how art therapy can strengthen resilience, increase empathy, reduce cultural bias, and help people discover a renewed sense of place in the world.