6 December 2009
Treating Adolescents with Art Therapy Techniques: How it can Help
The use of art therapy techniques to assist those young people suffering from depression has gained a great deal of credibility in recent years as evidence has mounted of its efficacy. Simply stated, this paper will argue that art therapy can assist adolescents as readily as its assists the very young and its adaptability makes it excellent as a long-term means of treatment. By way of explanation, the paper will begin first by exploring a common and effective art therapy technique, outline in brief the positive attributes of art therapy as articulated by Carl Jung and Dr. Natalie Rogers, and finish by noting how the malleable, fluid nature of art therapy allows it to help more young people, more often. With that in mind, it is to an in-depth discussion of art therapy that this paper turns.
One of the oldest art therapy techniques – and still one of the best – is the “Draw-A-Story” technique first advanced by Rawley Silver (Dunn-Snow, 1994, para.2). Although a procedure more commonly associated with very young clients, the adaptability of arts therapy allows even a procedure such as this to be adjusted for an older, possibly more cynical, audience. Be that as it may, this technique involves a set of fourteen cards which are presented to the youthful client; the young person is then asked to choose two which he – or she – will combine into a drawing. After doing so, the client is also asked to contribute a title and an accompanying three-sentence story. When the picture, title, and story are at last completed, they are scored on a 5-point scale ranging from ‘no depression’ to severely depressed (para.2). If self-destructive thoughts and/or tendencies are manifested in the artwork, then officials know there is a problem that needs to be immediately addressed (para.3). Interestingly, as a sidebar, the efficacy of art therapy as a...