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Home » News » Developing the Wiley Handbook of Art Therapy edited by the Department’s Dr. Gussak & Dr. Rosal

Developing the Wiley Handbook of Art Therapy edited by the Department’s Dr. Gussak & Dr. Rosal

Published November 10, 2015
The Wiley Handbook of Art Therapy

The Wiley Handbook of Art Therapy


What took nearly 4.5 years to create has finally been published! From soliciting the book’s chapters to deciding on a makeup for its front cover, the strenuous labor involved in producing the Wiley Handbook of Art Therapy is evident in each of its pages. Florida State University (FSU) Department of Art Education Chair and Professor Dr. David Gussak, along with Professor and Director of FSU’s Art Therapy Program Dr. Marcia Rosal, edited the Wiley Handbook of Art Therapy. At 900+ pages, the handbook is 84 chapters long and features writings by 90 distinguished authors. Of the authors included are Vija B. Lusebrink, author of Imagery and Visual Expression in Therapy, Harriet Wadeson, author of Art Psychotherapy, and Judith A. Rubin, author of The Art of Art Therapy.

After the contract was signed summer 2011 to begin writing the handbook, a written proposal was formed outlining its focus. Once approved, authors were contacted to contribute a chapter to the handbook. Some wished to co-author while others introduced other ideas.

“Editing was most difficult,” according to Dr. David Gussak. The writing experience of the authors selected varied greatly. Dr. David Gussak’s background editing two prior books, along with the considerable amount of journals Dr. Marcia Rosal has edited, made the two the perfect duo to work on the writing produced. Described by Dr. David Gussak as an “easy team,” together they made at least two revisions to every chapter.

Revisions were passed through each of Dr. Gussak’s and Rosal’s hands at least once. Throughout their process, Dr. Gussak edited the first half of the chapters and Dr. Rosal further reviewed the remainder. After, revisions were made and reviewed by the alternate editor. An updated copy was then sent to the John Wiley & Sons, Inc. global publishing company, often referred to as Wiley, for review. After adding the suggested references, an amended copy was resent to Wiley. The updated version was sent to a copy editor. Those revisions were sent back to Dr. Gussak and Dr. Rosal. Together, they ensured that the final version of the handbook was accurate.

Creating the handbook was a “rich process.” Dr. David Gussak noted that he and Dr. Marcia Rosal “didn’t know the enormity of its scope until the final proofs were completely printed out.” In addition to editing the Wiley Handbook of Art Therapy, Dr. David Gussak wrote 3 chapters, Dr. Rosal 2, and both co-authored the main introduction.

The eBook of the Wiley Handbook of Art Therapy is now accessible at a reduced price of $31.00 on Amazon. A print copy will be available in December for $190.00. Compared to other notable handbooks, the Wiley Handbook of Art Therapy is a third longer and has more than 100 illustrations. Dr. Gussak said that he is “proud, and not just a little relieved” that the book is ready for release. It has been called one of the most comprehensive art therapy books in the field and details the most current trends, approaches, and advances in art therapy.

The Wiley Handbook of Art Therapy is a resource and great addition to the field of art therapy. It is a book every professional should own. Below is a summary of the book taken from the back cover:

The practice of contemporary art therapy involves reflection on multiple philosophical, theoretical and practice models, and is often dependent on a range of specific settings or populations. Yet until now the diversity of the profession has not been brought together in a single text.   The Wiley Handbook of Art Therapy resolves the issue by providing unsurpassed breadth and depth of coverage of the subject, through a collection of theoretical and research approaches to practice. The handbook also explores various research models and professional issues, and provides a survey of global perspectives.

There are nine sections, each focusing on a crucial aspect of the field. These include a general overview, materials and directives, developmental continuum, assessments, research, special populations, interdisciplinary relationships, international art therapy, and special and contemporary issues. The result is an authoritative, state-of-the-art collection of the latest research in art therapy. Its multidisciplinary approach makes it a comprehensive and invaluable resource for all those in this field.