Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Meg Chang


The following literature review was composed to push for further research in the utilization of family art therapy in the homes of adopted individuals diagnosed with childhood post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and attention deficit/hyperactive disorder (ADHD). In this paper, the term family is used to reflect the adoptive constellation in the home of which services were provided. This paper begins with a look at the adoption experience, highlighting the trauma of separation for adoptees. In a table, observed behaviors and symptoms of ADHD and PTSD presented by clients are documented and compared. As symptoms overlap, this paper then addresses the therapeutic properties of art creating for the observed behaviors as well as underlying thoughts, emotions and attachment issues of which behaviors may be rooted. To aid these children and their adoptive parent(s), a deeper understanding of the intergenerational influences in the home is investigated. Examples of family art therapy are discussed, as well as limitations in the literature. The paper will conclude with a discussion of the author’s journey of entering adoptive homes.

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