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Art Therapy with Adolescents

• Creativity - Problem solving

• Self-expression – outlet for their emotions, gain fresh viewpoints

• Communicating with metaphor – metaphorical conversation

• Freedom 

• The early alliance with the reluctant teenagers

Reference: SeungYeon Lee, (2016) ARTH609-week 2 for BB, PowerPoint slides, ​​​


Since serious earthquake happened in Taiwan in February 5 2016, I engaged in searching the news and giving care to the residents who suffered from this big tragedy.  I want to apply art therapy with clinical group techniques to creative a therapeutic group therapy.


Adolescents experience the variety of emotion after traumatic event, such as aggressive, depressive, feelings of loneliness and feeling of loss, especially those who lose their loved one. They may have some symptoms associated with the traumatic, following by recurrent, intrusive distressing memories of traumatic events, dissociative reactions in which the individual feels as if the traumatic event were recurring, or intense psychological distress.

The young adolescents are at the stage of great conflict, and they are susceptible so that they are seeking role model who they can imitate their behaviors. Although these young people are growing in to mature, they remain in a state of dependency. As a result, it is important to give them support. Nevertheless, this is the stage they face vast assortment of challenges and struggle which they need to find a way to express and deal with.


  1. Help adolescent to express their fear, sense of insecurity, and feeling of loss from tragedy
  2. Enhance the adolescents’ capacity to monitor and regular feeling of safety and danger.
  3. Support members to seeking accompany, and alliance to move on from this tragedy.
  4. Help adolescents understand that what has happened is “not their fault,” and assist them in learning methods to regulate and moderate arousal.
  5. Provide a good sharing atmosphere, and increase socialization skills.

The material of the group

Crayons, acrylic, plates, toothbrushes, black papers, and white papers.

The process of the group




Everyone introduces their name.

Welcome to the group today. We all know that why we are here because of a tragic earthquake happened last week.  At the beginning of the group. I would like you to introduce your name to everyone.


Black hole drawing

Today, I want to know your emotion. You can use this black paper to express your feelings, such as angry, sad, and fear.

After the earthquake, what do I feel……?


Toothbrush introduces

I will present how to use toothbrushes to paint the white paper


Sun painting

Next step we are going to use the white paper.

Can you think about one thing that makes you feel safe or comfortable?

Can you think of one thing that you feel helpful to get now? (Ex: someone cares for you, a big smile, or something you feel happy with….)


Group sharing

Everybody sit in their seat to demonstrate their art works, and sharing what they created.



Simply introduce Yin Yang

If you can change the shape of your black color paper or white color paper, what shape they would be? You can cut it now. But we will share it next session. Thank you everyone’s sharing today, and we will save our words in this room today.




James N. Butcher, Jill M.Hooley, Susan Mineka, (2013). Abnormal paychology sixteenth edition

Lyshak-Stelzer, F., Singer, P., St. John, P., & Chemtob, C. M. (2007). Art Therapy for

Adolescents with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms: A Pilot Study. Art Therapy: Journal of The American Art Therapy Association, 24(4), 163-169.IMG_1357.JPG   IMG_1358.JPG





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