1st Edition

Art Therapy Through the Lifespan A Collection of Case Studies

Edited By Peg Dunn-Snow, Jill McNutt Copyright 2025
    244 Pages 69 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    244 Pages 69 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Art Therapy Through the Lifespan: A Collection of Case Studies introduces theories and models of human development highlighted by case studies written by art therapists and broken down by developmental age ranges.

    Each chapter introduces vignettes written by seasoned art therapists, illuminating the clinical practice of art therapy across relevant developmental levels. Chapters cover major developmental factors through a range of theoretical perspectives including the definition and use of art therapy and how developmental knowledge and understanding impact art therapy practice with clients of all ages. The reader will develop an understanding of the impact of human development on assessment, treatment planning, and implementation of art therapy, and will be able to create effective art therapy interventions that coincide with factors related to events across the human lifespan that include normal and abnormal development.

    The first of its kind, this book encourages and supports readers to develop their knowledge of art therapy and human development across the lifespan with a focus on safety, material quality, and artistic intent.


    1. Toddlerhood and Early Childhood

    a. Case Study of Dee: Grief in Toddlerhood 

    Molly Tomony 

    b. An In-Home Trauma-Informed Art Therapy Approach in the Case of a Toddler Impacted by Experiences of Violence and Loss 

    Rebecca Miller 

    c. Composite Case Study of Preschool Aged Youth in Foster Care

    Casey L. Burke

    d. Family Care: Finding Voice through Puppetry 

    Jill McNutt 

    e. Children's Corner: Art Therapy for Children Case Studies 

    Peg Dunn-Snow 

    2. Middle Childhood and Early Adolesence 

    a. Art-Based Attunement and Affect Regulation in Child Art Therapy 

    Amanda Lightner 

    b. Narratives Exploring Anxious Reaction

    Peg Dunn-Snow 

    c. Distance and Proximity in Adolescence: A Relational View of the Use of the Art Therapy Space with Two Adolescent Case Studies 

    Mia de Béthune

    d. Negotiating Grief within Cultures 

    Dixie Moore 

    e. Finding an Adolescent Identity 

    Jill McNutt 

    f. Finding a Place to Belong in the Foster System

    Tami Joe DeLisle

    3. Late Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

    a. Adolescent in Outpatient Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Program 

    Kara-Leigh Huse 

    b. Taken by a Storm

    Maria Riccardi and Gabrielle Gingras 

    c. Early Adolescence: Teen with Down Syndrome 

    Susan Ridley 

    d. Spreading My Wings: Angel 

    Tami Harris 

    e. Rodney: A Case of Mid-Adolescent Forensic Art Therapy

    Natashia P. Collins and Samantha Castellano

    f. Adjusting to College Life 

    Lisa Thompson-Gibson

    g. Sharing a Common Ground: Art Therapy with a Young Adult 

    Amanda Lightner 

    4. Mid Adulthood 

    a. Burning with Shame: An Adult Dealing with Sexual Assault Trauma from Childhood 

    Katherine Jackson

    b. Challenges of Ability: A Client's Story

    Rebecca Reinholz 

    c. Stone by Stone: Rebuilding the Inner Home with an Adult Survivor of Sexual Trauma 

    Valeria Koutmina

    d. Three Accesses of Art Therapy in Cancer Care 

    Jill McNutt 

    e. Art Therapy Remote Group: Midlife Adults 

    Heather Denning 

    f. Art Therapy and Pain Management 

    Jill McNutt 

    g. Tamyra 

    Erin Hein 

    5. Late Adulthood and End-of-Life

    a. Finding Voice in Art: The Effectiveness of Art Therapy with Older Adults in a Care Center 

    Jinnie Jeon

    b. The Use of Third-Hand Art Therapy for Transpersonal Knowing in the Last Days of Life with Two Men in Hospice Care

    Mia de Béthune

    c. Art Therapy, Artist Identity, and Parkinson's Disease 

    Emily Sharp 

    d. Spontaneous Life Review 

    Peg Dunn-Snow

    e. Living at the End of Life: Co-Creation of Narrative Collage in Hospice Care 

    Mia de Béthune


    Peg Dunn-Snow, PhD, LCAT, LMHC, ATR-BC, is the owner of Children’s Corner: Art Therapy for Children in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She has been in practice since 2004 and specializes in seeing children of military families.

    Jill McNutt, PhD, LPC, ATR-BC, is an art therapy educator at Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin. She also practices as a medical art therapist at Aurora Health Care and serves her local community as a founding member of the nonprofit Art Therapy House, Inc.

    "This book delves into the diversified environments and ethical considerations art therapists encounter across the lifespan. A merge of human growth and development utilizing art therapy cases to exemplify unique aspects across various age groups. It is directed towards a variety of theoretical orientations that the reader can tailor to their framework. This book will broaden perspectives, improving any art therapist’s practice as they expand to work with a range of developmental needs and populations across the lifespan."

    Leara Glinzak, ATR-BC, ATCS

    "Lifespans is a beautifully written and illustrated collection of developmental art therapy presentations. The book is the first of its kind and an invaluable tool for not only art therapists but also for psychologists. Peg Dunn Snow and Jill McNutt have edited a masterful publication, which is an important contribution to the field of art therapy."

    Stephen W. Koncsol, Ph.D.associate professor of Psychology, Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida

    Art Therapy Through the Lifespan is a long-awaited text that views human development through the lens of art therapy treatment. Dunn-Snow and McNutt have complied a wide-ranging resource that supports conceptualizing and implementing treatment with an eye to age appropriate and developmentally sensitive use of media in the context of psychological and art therapy theory. This book draws from the many resources that have been necessary to teach and practice art therapy from a developmental platform. Case studies are structured around a format that brings variety and clarity to the text. Those interested in investigating the human life cycle from a fresh and clinically informed perspective will appreciate the contributions of the many clinicians that have contributed to this valuable text.

    Barbara J. Fish, PhD, ATR-BC, ATCS, LCPC, HLM