"This moving and inspiring volume reads like a novel, powerfully drawing the reader into the world of those with Alzheimer's. With sensitivity and clarity, the author demonstrates the power of art to help sufferers to communicate. A welcome addition to the sparse literature in an area where the need for art therapy is rapidly growing, the book will be useful to art therapists at all levels of sophistication."
Judith A. Rubin, PhD, ATR-BC, HLM: Asst Prof., Dept of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh; Emeritus Faculty, Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Society. Works include:Approaches to Art Therapy: Theory & Technique, Artful Therapy; Video/DVD "Beyond Words: Art Therapy With Older Adults"
"Ruth Abraham applies her vast clinical experience in art therapy in this wonderful, insightful and touching text. While other authors have described the use of art therapy with older patients, Abraham goes beyond the classical approach, taking a refreshing look at therapy for cognitively impaired patients. She addresses today's ideas about non-verbal treatment with specific application to Alzheimer's patients' problems. She emphasizes the significance of affective/emotional expression, and stresses the importance of narrative approaches and metaphorical communication. She also urges understanding of the therapist's counter-transference or "entanglements" that inevitably arise in any population. Abraham treats the reader to lively case descriptions and practical clinical applications of art therapy in a wide range of individual treatment situations. Healers everywhere know the saying that the work of Medicine is "to cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always". Ruth Abraham has the courage to work with people who suffer an incurable illness, confident that they can sometimes be relieved of anxiety and pain and can always be comforted. I enjoyed the reading and gained a hopeful therapeutic perspective."
Roberto Mitelpunkt MD: Psychiatrist in private practice with broad experience in mental health, community psychiatry, psychogeriatrics and interdisciplinary teamwork; Director of Shmurat Nefesh (The Nature Reserve for the Soul); Teacher and Lecturer on Special Education and Educational Counseling; Former chief: Community Psychogeriatric Team, North Jerusalem
"In this immensely moving account, Ruth Abraham gives a powerful sense of the life of the patient affected by Alzheimer's. Through lovingly described clinical examples and vivid pictorial illustrations she takes us into the world of the patient and their carers. The book offers practical advice alongside sensitive descriptions of the ravages of the disease but nonetheless always remains optimistic. It becomes clear that art therapy can offer a positive contribution by facilitating expression of the personality long after many other faculties have diminished. This is a true contribution to art therapy literature. It is a must for art therapists and also of significant interest to all professionals who work with this client group as well as their families and carers."
Prof. Joy Schaverien, PhD: Jungian analyst in Private Practice, East Midlands, UK; Pro. Member, Soc. Analytical Psych., London, and Int'l Assoc. Analytical Psych.; Visiting Prof., Art Psychotherapy, U. of Sheffield. Books include: The Revealing Image; Desire and the Female Therapist; The Dying Patient in Psychotherapy
"Ruth Abraham's background discussions about her own responses and reactions as the therapist, and her intense descriptions of case work using vivid art-based and written examples, will be of help to any Art Therapist working in this field. Her focus upon the non-verbal aspects of this work and the importance of a relationship based in the 'here and now' interaction, is relevant for any Arts Therapist or Health Care professional from another discipline working with this population. The book will be particularly useful for therapists and trainee health care professionals in other fields who work with people with dementia in general. The reader can generalise useful guidance for dealing with confusion and challenging behaviour, and for working with people who have cognitive impairment and need help to express themselves and find meaning. I thoroughly recommend this unique book."
Helen Odell-Miller, BA Hons, LGSM(MT), Mphil: Principal Lecturer and Clinical Music Therapy Research Specialist: Anglia Ruskin U., Cambridge, and Cambridge & Peterborough Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, Cambridge, UK
For full reviews see:
Kimberley Iyemere in International Journal of Art Therapy: Inscape, Volume 11 Number 1 June 2006, 56-57, When Words Have Lost Their Meaning Ruth Abraham, Greenwood Publishing Group Inc. (ISBN 0 275 97989 X) AQ1
— Excerpt: "When Words Have Lost Their Meaning is...a very useful reference book and particularly accessible to students working in this field for the first time. It will also be useful to professionals other than art therapists...I was relieved to find the inclusion of the same issues I regularly encounter in my clinical practice as an art therapist working with Alzheimer's patients, such as the psychodynamics between an older patient and a younger therapist... Abraham's discussion about the internal states of mind that remain after the deterioration caused by Alzheimer's is fascinating and opens up exciting possibilities for art therapy."
Judith Wald (AATA) in Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 23(1), 40-41,When Words Have Lost Their Meaning: Alzheimer's Patients Communicate through Art by Ruth Abraham