Art Therapy’s Role in Helping Abused Children

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Art is a symbolic language that communicates feelings and truths which could otherwise be difficult to get across. Using art to let children express feelings and thoughts where words are failing them can become especially useful in a therapy setting.

Art therapy has been used by counselors, psychiatrists and psychotherapists to help children who aren’t old enough to communicate certain emotions and feelings. Training’s on understanding deeper meanings behind children’s artwork are available for therapists and counselors to use in their practice.


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Various ages of children needing help for abusive situations may use art as an outlet to nonverbally communicate their feelings. Abuse and sexual assault are difficult topics to discuss, this is only heightened when you are too young to comprehend an issue which has occurred. Art then gives abused children a way to begin to understand and work through the negative effects of abuse and trauma.

Knowing “what’s normal” in children’s artwork can help to identify underlying issue. In STM Learning’s book “Helping Children Affected by Abuse”, different case studies are presented comparing drawings that had drastically changed in the mood. Previously some of the childrens creations had people, pets, children, etc. in them and the recent ones were a lot emptier.

Talking to children about their art is important action to take when concerned with a recent behavior change. Certain situations such as a new stepparent or moving states can lead to a child feeling lost or out of place. Looking at their artwork and talking about it with them can lead to a better understanding of a child’s emotions and how to address them in the future.


For more information over art therapy and helping abused children, our handbook is currently available for ONLY $26 on our website along with other titles that help address and understand child abuse and maltreatment such as our Child Abuse Pocket Atlas series and our Child Sexual Abuse: Entry-Level Training for the Mandated Reporter.


Learn how to keep children safe and provide victims of child abuse with the help that they need. This pediatric guide for parents and teachers is easy to follow, affordable, and can help anyone respond to child abuse in a healthy, constructive manner that will help children on their way to recovery.




We hope to provide professionals who work with victims of assault and abuse with the most up-to-date information when confronted with abusive situations. For more information on what we do, visit our website or subscribe to our newsletter. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more updates on new titles, sales and other important information regarding abuse and maltreatment.






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