Self-Mutilation and Art Therapy: Violent Creation by Diana Milia, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2000

Diana Milia examines the effect of art therapy interventions with clients who harm their bodies. She describes art making in terms of symbolic modification of the self-mutilating client's own body, with the ultimate goal of self-transformation. The creative process itself provides an arena for the discharge and mastery of aggressive impulses, and develops self-control, self-esteem, and symbolic capacities, all of which are crucial in the treatment of self-mutilating behaviors. Demonstrating how these theories can be implemented in practice, Milia then describes examples from her clinical experience, and includes extended case studies. She analyzes art therapy sessions and the process and content of artwork. Her book is practical: it also extends our understanding of the concept of self-mutilation and how best it may be addressed.

"The book is extremely informative about self-harm and helps to increase understanding of the motives behind people harming themselves…" British Journal of Occupational Therapy


Jessica Kingsley Publishers

The American Art Therapy Association

Oregon Counseling Association

Northwest Art Therapy

Diana Milia Artwork




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