Art Therapy for Children –Developing Courses in Creativity to Deal With Difficult Emotions


The covid-19 pandemic has disrupted education systems globally, affecting the most vulnerable learners the hardest. For Ukrainian children, there has been a double shock, as the war disrupted their lives right after the pandemic, aggravating their stressful condition. The aim of the project being presented here was to develop a methodology based on the principles of art therapy, that could be implemented by persons without education in psychology or arts, to help children who have experienced trauma, at the same time as it is suitable for healthy children. A course of five holistic integrated sessions was developed, that systematically integrate and optimally alternate artistic, emotional, conversational and creative plots, to support children to realize negative emotions and turn them into creative energy. Art therapy is based on the idea that creative processes can be used to express and explore feelings, thoughts, and emotions, and this may help to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and trauma, as well as to improve self-esteem and self-awareness. The course was piloted in Norway by The Children’s Station in the voluntary organization Blue Cross Kristiansand. A group of six children participated in the course over a period of six weeks. They were aged seven to 13 years, and three of them had a refugee background from Ukraine. Evaluations showed that the six children appreciated the sessions, particularly some of the drawing exercises. Two of the girls also reflected that this may help children who have experienced trauma by giving them “a break from life”.

Author Information
May Olaug Horverak, Birkenes Learning Centre, Norway
Darius Radkevicius, Post traumatica sanitatem, Lithuania
Øistein Kristiansen, Earthtree Media AS, Norway
Migle Helmersen, University of Agder, Norway

Paper Information
Conference: BAMC2023
Stream: Education / Pedagogy

This paper is part of the BAMC2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Horverak M., Radkevicius D., Kristiansen �., & Helmersen M. (2023) Art Therapy for Children –Developing Courses in Creativity to Deal With Difficult Emotions ISSN: 2435-9475 – The Barcelona Conference on Arts, Media & Culture 2023: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon