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Building Community as Social Action An Art Therapy Group with Adolescent Males

, : Building Community as Social Action An Art Therapy Group with Adolescent Males. The Arts in Psychotherapy 39(3): 0-0

One way to facilitate social change as an art therapist is within the context of group art therapy, utilizing the group as a social microcosm for the world at large. The overarching goal is to engage the group in meaningful and prosocial experience that mirrorscommunityexperiences many clients have lacked. For a group of adolescent males who had suffered the effects of some of our worst social problems rampant community and domestic violence, racial and ethnic conflict, child abuse and neglect, parental substance abuse and criminality, poverty, and untreated mental illness in families this task is complex. The impact of disrupted attachment and complex trauma are discussed, and implications are presented for connecting with traumatized youth through witnessing their creative work. The therapeutic relationship and the art media used are discussed in relation to multicultural issues, the specific psycho-social problems experienced by the individual group members, and the capacity of this group to engage in the construction and ultimate articulation of its own community in a visual manner. The product of this group art therapy experience is exhibited in a mixed-construction miniature city that was built over a period of 9 weeks.


DOI: 10.1016/j.aip.2011.12.010

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