The mirror neuron system and embodied simulation: Clinical implications for art therapists working with trauma survivors

Ani Buk
The Arts in Psychotherapy, Elsevier Inc.

Using nodal sessions in the case of a profoundly traumatized woman as an illustrative foundation, this paper explores the mutative actions of psychoanalytically informed art therapy interventions. The efficacy of these interventions, which range from subtle to active, is supported by current research in the fields of neurobiology, infant development, cognitive science, and psychoanalysis. Focus is given to the continuum of dissociation as a survival response to overwhelming trauma, the relationship of dissociative processes to implicit memory, the mirror neuron system, and embodied simulation, as well as ways that the therapist’s sensitivity to the impact of trauma and dissociation on the survivor can be harnessed to promote the healing process.

Scroll to Top