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"Art therapy is the deliberate use of art-making to address psychological and emotional needs. Art therapy uses art media and the creative process to help in areas such as, but not limited to: fostering self-expression, enhancing coping skills, managing stress, and strengthening a sense of self."

--The Art Therapy Alliance

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"We use the creative art process to facilitate personal well-being."

--Northern Ireland Group for Art as Therapy (NIGAT)

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"Art Therapy is about using art as a tool for communication and through the therapeutic relationship, emotional, psychosocial and developmental needs are addressed with the intention of effecting lasting change."

--Hong Kong Association of Art Therapists (HKAAT)

Art Therapy and Trauma Intervention

Join the Dialogue about Art Therapy, Trauma, and Loss on LinkedIn

Trauma and Loss is a sub-group of The Art Therapy Alliance for art therapists to dialogue, share ideas and resources related to art therapy, trauma, and loss issues. This group is moderated by Aimee Loth Rozum, LMHC, ATR-BC. If you are already a member of the Art Therapy Alliance and this topic interests you, please join it!

NEW! The GlassBook Project. The GlassBook Project brings survivors of trauma together with students to create books made of glass. It is a program of Witness Justice and Rutgers University-Newark, Department of Arts, Culture and Media.Curriculum development for the GlassBook Project was funded by the Center for Mental Health Services, SAMHSA/DHHS. Watch a short film about GlassBook here or visit their website by clicking here.

Art Therapy with Children and Adolescents Exposed to Domestic Violence. Here is a fantastic SlideShare by Gretchen Miller, ATR-BC, on her work with children and teens exposed to violence in their homes.

For information on children's reactions to the trauma of war and terrorism, see "Trauma Happens, Children Draw" on Psychology Today Online: "In 2005, peace campaigners from Human Rights Watch provided crayons and paper to children in Darfur while on a humanitarian trip to the region. What happened next was not expected: the children communicated what they had seen with their own eyes through their drawings. They drew, often with frightening accuracy, pictures of murder, torture, and destruction, images few photojournalists had ever been able to capture on film. The images were so precise thatDarfur drawing of war they were submitted to the International Criminal Court last year to corroborate the attacks by Janjaweed militia against the Dafuri people. [Note: To learn more about the collection of drawings, visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum at http://www.ushmm.org/].

Not that long ago it was regularly suggested that it was better to forget than remember traumatic events and that children who witnessed violence would eventually stop thinking about their nightmarish memories. Fortunately, we now know the importance of acknowledging, validating, and, when needed, providing mental health intervention to help the smallest witnesses tell their stories. Creative acts, as simple as drawings, give young survivors a voice when silence is self-imposed or imposed by others." Read more here...

Watch a film, "Smallest Witnesses: The Crisis in Darfur Through Children's Eyes." Participants discussed the images created by the children, and the impact the crisis has had on its youngest victims. The program featured Jemera Rone, Sudan Researcher, Human Rights Watch; Olivier Bercault, Emergencies Researcher, Human Rights Watch; Dr. Annie Sparrow, Third Millennium Fellow, Harvard University Researcher, Human Rights Watch; and moderator Jerry Fowler, Staff Director, Committee on Conscience, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Books, Articles, and Other Resources

How to Help Children Recover from Trauma. "Hands-on Approaches to Helping Children Heal from Traumatic Events" is book by Lisa Diamond-Raab, MA, LPC, ATR-BC, CP, Paramjit Toor Joshi, MD, Shulamit Michal Lewin, MHS, and Shari Goddard Shambaugh, MA, AT; you can download sample page and the table of contents by going to this site.

National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children/Starr Commonwealth. Visit this webpage to find many downloadable resources on trauma intervention with children and families, information on sensory-based methods [drawing, art, play, and stress reduction], and research findings. You can also learn more about TLC/Starr's distance learning courses, too. Join the National Institute for Trauma and Loss Facebook Fan Page and receive weekly information on trauma intervention, sensory methods (art and play), and free downloads and articles.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network Disaster Information. NCTSN has an extensive website; on this page you can find more information about children and all types of traumatic experiences. There are links for professional information, consumers, media, and educators, and multimedia presentations plus a knowledge bank.

Art, Play, and Creative Interventions with Trauma Online Course. If you want to learn more about art, play, bibliotherapy, music, and drama in trauma intervention with children, you can take a short course from National Institute for Trauma and Loss. Approved by NBCC, NASW, California BBS for Marriage and Family Therapists, and many other educational providers.Click here to read description.

Check back soon for more information!

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All Rights Reserved. Statements and content found on this website do not constitute professional advice. Material on this website may be out of date, incomplete, or inaccurate at the time of publication. IATO cannot be held responsible for the content of links on this website that direct visitors to websites maintained by other groups, organizations, or individuals.