Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

MAE - Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies


Expressive Therapies


Donna Owens


Relational trauma is an impactful experience, affecting a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Children with relational trauma experiences are particularly vulnerable due to being in a stage of active development. Relational trauma can have a lasting impact on a child’s psychosocial, cognitive, and neurological development. This literature review explores the current research concerning children who have experienced relational trauma, the developmental impact of relational trauma, the treatment needs of this population, and a current, evidence-based treatment option for this population—the Attachment, Self-Regulation, Competency (ARC) framework. On the basis of this research, this literature review will outline how expressive arts therapy and the Expressive Therapies Continuum (ETC) can be used as effective treatment options for this population. Additionally, this literature review will highlight treatment correlations between the ETC and ARC, demonstrating the beginnings of an ETC/ARC integrative framework for working with children with relational trauma.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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