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Family Art Therapy: A Contribution to Mental Health Treatment in an Adolescent Inpatient Setting

Family Art Therapy: A Contribution to Mental Health Treatment in an Adolescent Inpatient Setting Art therapy has been increasingly used in mental health settings, particularly for children and families who experience trauma‐induced symptoms. However, there is limited literature on family art therapy in child and adolescent inpatient settings. We describe the use of family art therapy in an inpatient child and adolescent mental health services unit, including images to demonstrate effectiveness. Patient and family member artworks were photographed and used to describe three case studies. Artworks made in art therapy can reveal hidden dysfunction in the family. Recent trauma research supports capacity to access this material safely through non‐verbal visual communication. Family art therapy is a useful intervention to support the identification of an illness in the parent, to improve the attunement between the parent and the child, and for the parent to detach from their child’s symptoms by agreeing to get treatment for themselves. If the patient cannot separate from the illness in the parent their symptoms may remain. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy Wiley

Family Art Therapy: A Contribution to Mental Health Treatment in an Adolescent Inpatient Setting

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2021 Australian Association of Family Therapy.
ISSN
0814-723X
eISSN
1467-8438
DOI
10.1002/anzf.1449
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Art therapy has been increasingly used in mental health settings, particularly for children and families who experience trauma‐induced symptoms. However, there is limited literature on family art therapy in child and adolescent inpatient settings. We describe the use of family art therapy in an inpatient child and adolescent mental health services unit, including images to demonstrate effectiveness. Patient and family member artworks were photographed and used to describe three case studies. Artworks made in art therapy can reveal hidden dysfunction in the family. Recent trauma research supports capacity to access this material safely through non‐verbal visual communication. Family art therapy is a useful intervention to support the identification of an illness in the parent, to improve the attunement between the parent and the child, and for the parent to detach from their child’s symptoms by agreeing to get treatment for themselves. If the patient cannot separate from the illness in the parent their symptoms may remain.

Journal

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family TherapyWiley

Published: Jun 1, 2021

Keywords: ; ; ; ; ;

References