Monthly Archives: February 2003


This short article from LightWave studio for Art therapy & counseling.

Art Therapy and the Traumatised Child

The following article was published in the June 2002 issue of the British Columbia Early Childhood Educators’ Newsletter.

Art Therapy and the Traumatised Child

Tara runs into my office. She is four and she is excited. She looks around as if she knows there is a purpose to being here. She sees the markers and immediately settles at the little table. At first she seems excited at seeing all the colours, but now she picks up only a pencil. It appears as if the blank piece of paper is a doorway to a strange world where things have a different shape and quality. She speaks in a low voice as she draws awkward figures, one after another. They would have been somewhat typical drawings of an average four-year old had they not all had heavy dark zigzag scratches in the middle area of their body. A monster had hurt them, she says.

When a child suffers trauma -be it physical, emotional, sexual or otherwise- her whole existence, her Self, is threatened. The impact of trauma is such that the mind becomes unable to keep the natural impulses under control. The fear of loss of Self as a result of trauma may be so great that the body reacts in the only way it knows how; it has to either fight or flee to survive the attack. In doing either the running or the fighting- the child’s suffering is greater if the child feels alone Continued….


An Analysis of Empathy Through Visual Dialogue

by : Staci Martin


The detention center I interned at is an alternative to jail and a temporary holding center for juveniles. This detention furnishes secure accommodations for youth that are awaiting adjudication of their cases by the Juvenile Division of the Circuit Court. The population is disproportionately male, economically disadvantaged, and members of racial and ethnic minorities. The ages range from ten to twenty-one years. This center typically houses 400 – 500 juveniles at one time. With twenty admissions each day, nine thousand juveniles go through the detention center in one year.

Interactions with incarcerated youth are brief because of the overcrowded system and the restrictive nature of working within a correctional facility. It became apparent that the individuals had less empathic ways of working. Early on in my art therapy internship, I began to question if these less empathic encounters were a deliberate and conscious choice by the individuals who work with detained youth. If this were true, would I someday be making the same calculated, conscious choice?

My curiosity, wonder and yearning for something different lead me to a deliberate and conscious choice to find empathic approaches using art therapy in a correctional facility. My thesis concentrates on the process in which empathy is attainable in a challenging environment. I chose creative writing as the format of my post-session response art because it deepened my experience of empathy toward both my client and myself and helped me evaluate how empathic my responses actually were throughout those brief therapeutic encounters. Continued …


The Application of Social Constructionism and Discourse Analysis to the Examination of Art Therapy with People with Learning Difficulties

Author: Jamie Lofts

This study explores the application of social constructionism and discourse analysis to the examination of Art Therapy with people with learning difficulties. In particular there is a concern with the way in which psychotherapy has increased its influence within practice over the past twenty years. Read More >>

Keywords: Art Therapy, Social constructionism, Learning difficulties, Institutional politics, Professional and Theoretical Development


Rationale & Method

Source data

Emerging narratives >>

Narrative of emotions >>

Narrative of normalisation >>

Narrative of Institutional, Political & Social issues >>

Narrative of Professional development >>

Discussion >>



Read the entire article HERE


Narrative + Art + Therapy Resources

A request was sent to the AiT group for resources in Narrative approaches to Art Therapy. They asked for schools offering such an approach. In my search I came across other resources that I’m sure could be of interest.

I have compiled books, papers, research projects, discussion forums, messages with pertinent information, schools, workshops, and people who use such approaches. Links can be found to the original information. Along with some music and drama therapy resources(most of this list is art therapy) I have also included a narrative art related article.

Most of the info should be fairly recent (2000-2003) but knowing the web sometimes it’s hard to tell. A note: this is not a complete list by any means, this is simply a late night romp
through what can be found on Google (my trusted guide dog). Enjoy the journey