The Effect of Art Therapies on Traumatic Stress: A Research Paper

This paper examines 18 empirical articles from 1991 to 2009, reporting on the effect of art therapies, including drama and music therapies, in the treatment of and interventions with traumatic stress. These articles are supported by five case studies of individuals and groups to glean greater insight into topics presented in the fore mentioned articles. There is also a special article on the correlates of neuropsychological factors in psychoanalytics. Finally, there is one presentation for hip hop as an art therapy that is underrepresented in the research literature. It is a largely atheoretical art therapy process inherent in Western minority or Asian populations. Research from Africa and the Middle East is present, but the majority is from English speaking countries or societies of European influence. Most research focused on treating patients with diagnosable Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). All of the reviewed studies covered subjects with symptomology resulting from traumatic stress. Various art modalities were used in a range of structure styles and implementation strategies. Studies revealed that expressive and creative art therapies are effective, except when the participants were participating in an activity that reduced their self efficacy prior to treatment levels.

Peter Jason Meilahn
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