Art Therapy Practices for Resilient Youth: A Strengths-Based Approach to At-Promise Children and Adolescents, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Art Therapy Practices for Resilient Youth

A Strengths-Based Approach to At-Promise Children and Adolescents, 1st Edition

Edited by Marygrace Berberian, Benjamin Davis


440 pages | 148 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2019-12-30
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Art Therapy Practices for Resilient Youth highlights the paradigm shift to treating children and adolescents as ‘at-promise’ rather than ‘at-risk’. By utilizing a strength-based model that moves in opposition to pathology, this volume presents a client-allied modality wherein youth are given the opportunity to express emotions that can be difficult to convey using words. Working internationally with diverse groups of young people grappling with various forms of trauma, 30 contributing therapists share their processes, informed by current understandings of neurobiology, attachment theory, and developmental psychology. In addition to guiding principles and real-world examples, also included are practical directives, strategies, and applications. Together, this compilation highlights the promise of healing through the creative arts in the face of oppression.


True to its title, this book offers a rare opportunity to absorb multiple strategies that are strength-based and positive. Each chapter includes one or more case studies to illustrate how art therapy was particularly helpful in navigating the complex issues children face, and how through art the child can find the curative path through the most adverse situations. Students and professionals alike will find inspiration in the cases presented and may start identifying their own clients as being at-promise.

Gussie Klorer, PhD, ATR-BC, LCSW, LCPC, HLM; professor emeritus, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

This refreshing book contains many examples of how an optimistic stance can strengthen youngsters’ innate resiliency, reinforcing the necessity of conducting our work with a belief in the artist that is completely sincere. There is considerable evidence of the power of the self-fulfilling prophecy, especially the effectiveness of positive expectations. I thank the editors for this timely reminder of how perceiving young people’s creative capacities is at the heart of helping them to find and to articulate their own special artistry.

Judy Rubin, PhD, ATR-BC, HLM

Recognizing that youth are now the largest population in history, the chapters in this impressive volume include theory and neurobiological explanations as well as diverse current examples of developmentally sensitive, socially aware, and inclusive approaches to art therapy. The authors have edited an unprecedented and much-needed contemporary volume addressing the creative potential and promise of youth who have experienced adversity such as trauma, illness, physical challenges, substance abuse, and problematic sexual behaviors.

Girija Kaimal, EdD, MA, ATR-BC; assistant professor, Drexel University; board of directors, American Art Therapy Association

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Creative Problem Solving in Art Therapy: An Overview of Benefits to Promote Resilience; 3. Art as Communication for Young People; Disruptions in Early Individual Development; 4. "My Passed!!!": A Case Study in the Efficacy of Art Therapy with Adolescents with Complex Trauma and Attachment Disruptions; 5. Promoting Resilience through Attachment in Art Therapy Practices for Early Intervention; 6. The Mind, the Body, and the Creative Process: Embodied Representations in Art Therapy; 7. Building a Therapeutic Relationship with Children who have Severe and Multiple Disabilities; 8. On Becoming Whole: Paul’s Journey through Heart Transplant; 9. Strength-Based Art Therapy with Adolescent Psychiatric Patients; 10. DASH©- Draw a SuperHero: The Role and Significance of the Superhero in the Art of Children with Trauma; 11. Finding Safe Places in "Jars": Stamping Containers in Substance Use Treatment; 12. From Black & White to Color: Staying in the Metaphor with Male Adolescents who have Sexually Offended; Disruptions in Family Systems; 13. Cultivating Resilience through Creative Altruism with Institutionalized Youth in Foster Care; 14. Effects of Art Therapy on Identity and Self-Esteem in Adolescents in the Foster Care System; 15. ARTogether: Putting Community at the Center of Family Visits; 16. Drawing to Disclose: Empowering Child Victims and Witnesses in Investigative Interviews; 17. Resilience of Youth Overcoming Divorce-related Stressors; Consequences of Global and Systemic Stress and Inequalities; 18. Conflict & Displacement: Finding the Space for Creativity; 19. Neither Here nor There: Art Therapy with Unaccompanied Adolescents Seeking Asylum in the US; 20. Making Artistic Noise: Amplifying the Voices of Court-Involved Youth; 21. Fighting Isolation and Celebrating Gender Diversity: Art Therapy with Transgender and Gender Expansive Youth; 22. School-Based Art Therapy: Filling the Void; 23. A Journey of Hope: Art Therapy with an Unaccompanied Minor; 24. Art Therapy with Bereaved Youth; 25. Learning from Mistakes in Adolescent Art Therapy

About the Editors

Marygrace Berberian is a licensed and registered art therapist and clinical social worker. She has been actively involved in the NYU Graduate Art Therapy Program as a faculty member, internship coordinator, and program coordinator.

Benjamin Davis is an art therapist and educator who has been training mental healthcare professionals about LGBT cultural competency issues since 2006. He has collaborated with The Center’s Gender Identity Project, the New York Department of Health, CUNY School of Public Health, the National LGBT Task Force, and the Ackerman Institute for the Family's Gender and Family Project.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Adolescent
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Child
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health