The Benefits of Incorporating Art Therapy into School-Based Trauma Interventions: a Literature Review
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Traumatic experiences are common among children and adolescents and can have a devastating impact on their physical, emotional, cognitive, and social development (Perry, 1999). For traumatized youth, schools offer an opportune environment in which to receive trauma-specific interventions. According to research, the most empirically supported school-based trauma interventions are verbal approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) (Little & Akin-Little, 2013). When viewing trauma from a neurobiological perspective, however, solely verbal modalities like CBT may not always meet the needs of traumatized children and adolescents. For these individuals, non-verbal and sensory-based interventions such as art therapy may be required to effectively address these unmet needs (Malchiodi, 2015). Therefore, this thesis will explore the ways in which art therapy can be used to complement empirically supported school-based trauma interventions for children and adolescents to help support the trauma recovery process and increase the potential for healing and growth.