1st Edition

Applying Developmental Art Theory in Art Therapy Treatment and Interventions
Illustrative Examples through the Life Cycle

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after June 20, 2021
ISBN 9780367858971
June 20, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
328 Pages 168 B/W Illustrations

USD $39.95

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Book Description

Applying Developmental Art Theory in Art Therapy Treatment and Interventions: Illustrative Examples through the Life Cycle weaves clinical applications of object relations-based art therapy with the Kestenberg Art Profile to understand art from a developmental perspective with the intent of applying this knowledge to support best art therapy practice.

The book starts by defining object relations-based art therapy and introducing the Kestenberg Art Profile. Chapters blend psychological theory (Freud, Erikson, Piaget) and developmental art theory (DiLeo, Gardner, Kellogg, Levick, Lowenfeld and Brittain, and Rubin) with case illustrations that offer a focus on applying typical developmental theory and art therapy with children, adolescents, and adults who have varying needs. Examples include art from people throughout the life cycle with histories of trauma in the following areas: sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, terrorism, grief and medical illness, war, natural disasters, and substance abuse. There is further discussion on neurological indicators, family issues, and the use of materials and techniques viewed through a developmental lens.

Ideal for creative arts therapists, educators, and students, the book will also stand out as a supplementary text for developmental theorists and educators, art educators, and a range of mental health professionals.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Object Relations Based Art Therapy 3. Kestenberg Art Profile 4. Theories of Typical Human Development and Art Development: Infancy and Early Childhood 5. Theories of Typical Human Development and Art Development: Childhood 6. Theories of Typical Human Development and Art Development: Pre-adolescence 7. Theories of Typical Human Development and Art Development: Adolescence 8. The Kramer Assessment and other Art Therapy Techniques used with Children 9. Exploration of Age-Appropriate and Developmentally Appropriate Materials for Use in Treatment and Interventions 10. The Child as a Member of a Family 11. Developmental Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Neurological Impairments, and Learning Differences 12. Physical Disabilities and Medical Illness 13. Physical and Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence 14. Severe Trauma 15. Cultural Issues and their Effect on the Children We Treat 16. The Gifted Child, Creativity and Aesthetics of Childhood 17. Conclusion

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Beth Gonzalez-Dolginko has worked clinically as an art therapist in institutions and private practice for over 40 years. Beth’s specialty is human development. She has worked with children, adolescents, and adults.


Gonzalez-Dolginko has given us a window into the historical, research, and theoretical antecedents of the Kestenberg Art Profile (KAP) that is introduced in this volume. The depth and breadth of this body of work integrating theory into clinical practice throughout the lifespan is clearly palpable throughout the book. This volume vividly illuminates clinical art therapy examples throughout the life cycle depicting how developmental art and movement can be expressed, understood, and then transformed.

Applying Developmental Art Therapy in Art Therapy Through the Life Cycle illuminates Dr. Beth Gonzalez-Dolginko’s decades of first-hand experience (as a clinician, researcher, and parent) with human development as a valuable lens on which to practice creative arts therapy. Written in a down-to-earth, witty, and accessible narrative, Gonzalez-Dolginko’s text will introduce a new generation of art therapists to the seminal theories of human development that support and help explain the potency of their work. She reminds readers of some of the most bedrock ideas of our profession that too few art therapists know about. This is a valuable book.