Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Coping with Hurricane Katrina

Art therapy has been particularly helpful in processing trauma, one of the most recent events of which has been Hurricane Katrina. This article mentions the value of using art therapy, as well as other modalities (i.e., play & drama therapies), with children and teens to deal with the aftermath of Katrina. Cathy Malchiodi writes about how art therapy is particularly helpful in promoting trauma recovery with children, regardless of the degree. (click on the .pdf version to see the artwork) As she states:
"Art Therapy can be beneficial to people of all ages, but it is especially useful for children. Art is a natural form of communication for children because it is easier for them to express themselves visually rather than verbally. This is particularly true for children who have experienced a traumatic event, such as Hurricane Katrina, or other natural or man-made disasters."
AATA has asked for art therapists to assist Hurricane survivors in the Gulf region to cope more effectively the trauma that occurred during and after the hurricane. Art therapy has become more well known as an effective tool in helping process and desensitize the tragedies that occur in the lives of people, particularly in the wake of large disasters such as the Asian Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. Best of wishes to the therapists and the survivors as they work together towards healing.

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