Therapeutic encounters often raise issues around topics that are considered taboo in society. For some patients, the very act of attending therapy constitutes the breaking taboo -- the taboo of being 'mad'. In this, the second volume of the cross-disciplinary Arts Therapies Research Library, the contributors focus on the nature and expression of taboos such as sex, abuse, disease and death. Bruce Bayley uses mirroring techniques in dramatherapy with a group of young homosexual prostitutes, to explore whether they are manifesting split gender role conflict. Ann Cattanach and Hitesh Ravel discuss how adult reactions of horror and shame at the taboo issues of child sexual abuse can impair the child's' recovery, and how the therapist can work to alleviate this. Pat Simpson, studying the recent 'Sensation' exhibition of British art, argues that the taboo-breaking impetus its exhibits express is derives from post-modernism and examines how dangerous a threat such works of art may present to society. Richard Sawdon Smith discusses a series of photographs taken of a patient with AIDS, one of which won a photographic competition but was deemed too shocking to publish, which raised and still raises questions about contextualising artworks and what it was about those images that was so deeply shocking.
Taboo continues the ATRL's aim to stimulate debate across the arts therapies, encouraging innovation and research.