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Lesson Plans

Re: art therapy

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Linda Kelty (lckelty)
Mon, 19 Jul 1999 13:29:10 -0400

I only had one brief workshop on art therapy at a conference, but the art
therapist pointed out that the hand shown as an arrow at the end of the arm
would indicate sexual abuse by a male. The arrow reversed was supposed to
indicate abuse by a female. I had 2 mute children in special education
classes. The girl's history was known. She'd been an ordinary child until
being gang raped on a playground at 8 years of age. She withdrew and became
a voluntary mute with self stimming behaviors. I didn't know this until
after a long period of time and observing her drawings I went to the school
psych.. The boy was being abused by his mother and she'd ordered him never
to speak. I also showed his drawings to the specialists on his case. He
finally revealed it to his speech therapist over a long period of time. Two
other siblings in that family were suffering the same abuse.
Those were the only two cases that I've ever come across, but I was amazed
at how accurate the symbology was. I think it would be interesting to have
a stronger background in this, especially for those of us who teach special
needs classes.
For those of you who are art therapists, I did not attempt to deal with this
myself, and only involved others after a long period of time. I've taught
21 years and consider myself to be part of the overall team in support of
our students. Linda
-----Original Message-----
From: MPBC90 <MPBC90>
To: <>
Date: Monday, July 19, 1999 11:39 AM
Subject: Re: art therapy

>In a message dated 7/18/99 12:44:51 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
> writes:
> Just picked up this thread (haven't been reading this list lately). As as
> Art Therapist, I've also found the hands symbolism to be "right on" with
> abused children (& adults), appearing repeatedly in the work of many.
> Lowenfeld was only one source of our knowldege of symbols. >>
>I love this thread. Could I ask that you summarize a few "symbolic hand
>drawings" that might alert a teacher?