The 22nd Annual Society for Animation Studies Conference

Joan Ashworth & Helen Mason

Animation Therapy

Animation Therapy is concerned with using animation as a therapeutic tool. It was discovered that animation had the potential to be adapted to compliment a range of therapeutic approaches developing new tools for use by the professional therapist and ways of working for animators who are interested in developing animation in health work. This meeting of two worlds has enabled new therapeutic opportunities and tools to be developed as well as investigating new ways of working together across non-traditional boundaries. We will discuss some of the findings so far, and show 2 films developed for use in this therapeutic practice.

l statement: Occupational Therapist Helen Mason and Professor Joan Ashworth will co present this paper. Ashworth has been involved with Animation since 1979 as a filmmaker and teacher with a mission to find the more serious side of animation. Mason, an experienced HPC registered therapist has been using animation in her clinical practice for five yrs and initiated the Animation Therapy project. Ashworth and Mason have explored the astonishing benefits of using animation in therapy, and discovered some key parallels between specific therapeutic tools/approaches , and stages of expertise and complexity in animation. The project is partially supported by NESTA.