Date of Award
MA - Master of Arts
Tamar Hadar, PhD, MT-BC
Devastatingly, children’s exposure to trauma and stressful life events is pervasive and spans a range of human experiences. Advances in neuroscience demonstrate that such traumas experienced during childhood can deleteriously rewire a child’s nervous system, in-turn altering their brain’s organization, development, and function. Left unresolved, the impacts of trauma can compound across a child’s lifetime manifesting in a host of negative psychological and health outcomes. Timely and neurosequentially-based interventions are key to helping traumatized children heal and achieve their full potential. This review of art therapy literature identifies current neurobiological-informed art therapy models for children who have experienced trauma. A substantial gap was revealed to exist between the integration of neuroscience concepts into art therapy practice and the availability of quantitative studies to empirically demonstrate art therapy’s effect on a child’s brain structure and function. This thesis proposes an empirical, interdisciplinary approach to art therapy, that sensitively aligns with the child’s developmental stage as well as with their impaired nervous system.
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Dominie, Reid, "Rewiring the Nervous System with Art Therapy: Advocating for an Empirical, Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Approach to Art Therapy Treatment of Traumatized Children, A Literature Review" (2020). Expressive Therapies Capstone Theses. 247.
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