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Intervention in Counselling Children :

Art Therapy

About Art Therapy

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, create coping skills, manage stress,
and strengthen sense of self. Art therapy has provided mental
health treatment for clients who have experienced trauma, grief &
loss, depression, chronic illness, substance abuse, and more.

Using Art in Trauma Intervention

Creative process and art-making can provide opportunities

for decision-making, problem-solving, and help build

Respond to art expressions with an accepting, calming,
validating, and normalizing approach
Encourage and provide creative choices for open, selfexpression
Create a safe, inviting, and structured environment for
making art free of judgment, interpretation, and asking too
many questions
Support opportunities for storytelling through interest of art

Considerations when working with children

from homes of domestic violence:
Emotion expression and validation
Coping with feelings and crisis
Reducing anxiety, fear, tension
Adjustment to shelter life, family changes
Safety planning
Short term intervention & prevention

Considerations when working with children

from homes of domestic violence:

Appropriate developmental level

Provide a sense of safety & predictability
Relational enrichment
Experience of reward

Perry, B. (2006). Applying Principles of Neurodevelopment to Clinical Work with

Maltreated and Traumatized Children

Support Groups for Youth

Create a group structure designed to foster:

Safety and ability to make choices
Relational interaction
Appropriate role modeling

Sensory based group art

interventions that explore:

Acceptance and trust

Validation of experience
Educate & normalize trauma reactions
Promoting emotional expression
Coping and stress management

Trust & Acceptance

Art Interventions that focus on:
Getting to Know the Child
Building Rapport & Relationship
Promoting Self-Worth & Self Esteem
Celebrating Self
Building Resiliency

A Favorite
Kind of Day
Malchiodi, C. (1997)

Safety Box

Safety Box

Validation of Experience
Art Interventions that focus on:
Promoting Emotional Expression
Honors experience
Provides opportunity for storytelling



Coming to Shelter / Worried about Leaving Pet Behind

Shelter Adjustment / Coming to Shelter

Shelter Adjustment / Coming to Shelter

Normalizing Trauma Reactions

Art Interventions that focus on:
Education and Validation
Sensory-Based Activities
Identifying Ways to Cope w/ reactions
Animals, creatures, and other
characters that can provide examples
through a non-threatening image or story

Sherman-- A Terrible Thing Happened Story

Bart & the Sad, Bad, and Scary Thing that HappenedBrave Bart Story

Trauma Stress Thoughts

Promoting Emotional Expression

Art Interventions that focus on:
Physical response to trauma reactions
or experience
Permission and acceptance of
emotions related to fear, worry, anger,
sadness, guilt, humiliation

Emotional X-Ray: Scared

Emotional X-Ray: Helpless

Emotional X-Ray: Tension

Feelings Mask

Coping and Stress Management

Interventions that focus on:
Bodys response to stress/relaxation
Relaxation techniques
Breath work
Healthy ways to calm, soothe, feel safe

Malchiodi, C. (2008). Creative Interventions with Traumatized
Children. New York: Guildford Press.
Malchiodi, C. (2005). Using Art in Trauma Recovery with Children.
Monograph published by the National Institute for Trauma and Loss
in Children.
Malchiodi, C. (1997). Breaking the Silence: Art Therapy with
Children from Violent Homes . New York: Brunner Mazel.
Miller, G. (2008). Bruce Perrys Impact: Considerations for Art
Therapy & Children From Violent Homes on Slideshare
Perry, B. (2006). Applying Principles of Neurodevelopment to
Clinical Work with Maltreated and Traumatized Children in Working
with Traumatized Youth in Child Welfare edited by Nancy Boyd.
New York: Guilford Press.