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Some of you have written to me for ideas on where to get started. I'll list
a few references below. And to Liz: It is normal stereotypic images or
symbols to appear at certain developmental roadmarks. If you are teaching a
specific lesson, by all means redirect to that topic. If, however, you are
providing the students choice in a studio environment, it will not be
harmful to allow the initial drawing of such images to emerge & be
discussed. Obviously, if questionable images continue, you'd want to check
out if they are developmentally appropriate or more serious indicators (via
referral). We must not be afraid to talk to kids about the meaning and
feelings behind their artwork. Beyond that, we can build strong & effective
child protective teams which include teachers, mental health professionals
& others who all work together in the child's best interests.
References: ART THERAPY the journal of the American Art Therapy
Association; THE ARTS IN PSYCHOTHERAPY; the AMERICAN JOURNAL OF ART
THERAPY; Mommy, Daddy, Look What I'm Saying by Myra Levick; Silent Screams
and Hidden Cries byWohl & Kaufman; Adolescent Art Therapy by Linesch; Using
Drawing in Assessment & Therapy by Oster & Gould; Breaking the Silence by
Again, the point is not for you to attempt art therapy in class, but to
take advantage of the position you are in to identify the red flags & be
sure that referrals are made. It may also be helpful to explore any fears &
discomforts that arise in you as kids produce certain images.
Selfunderstanding helps us to know what is our "stuff" and what is theirs.
Joy Moody, Board Certified Art Therapist/Clinical Counselor/Basketmaker