The Creative Art Therapies in Work with Children and Adolescents with Traumatic Experiences

Kristina Sesar,, Arta Dodaj, Vida Vasilj, Damir Sesar, Irena Smoljan, Mirjana Mikulić


This article is theoretical in nature and sets out to explore how creative art therapies create useful intervention and therapeutic approaches for working with children and adolescents. Creative art therapy is an approach in the treatment of child trauma widely used by art therapists as well as psychologists and counsellors. Published articles and books that focus exclusively on the use of creative art therapies for treating children who have experienced a traumatic event were included in this review. An overview of the unique characteristics and potential difficulties of treating children and adolescent who have been exposed to traumatic experiences with individual and group creative art therapies is presented. Finally, the article provides an overview of the effectiveness of creative art therapies in working with children and adolescents who have experienced trauma.

Conclusion − The research, albeit few in number and methodologically limited, shows that expressive creative therapies help children and adolescents express their traumatic experiences in a safe way and gives them the skills and hope they need to enjoy life to the fullest despite their traumatic experience. Several methodological issues are discussed and suggestions for future research are provided in this review.


Creative Art Therapies; Expressive Therapies; Childhood Trauma; Individual and Group Therapies

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