PULLING OUT THE THORNS: ART THERAPY WITH SEXUALLY ABUSED CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS
This article outlines an approach that integrates art therapy and group process to target areas of need when working with child and adolescent victims of sexual abuse. The paper discusses which art therapy interventions were chosen to address the long- and short-term effects of sexual abuse, and provides theoretical and psychological documentation for such choices. All group participants were evaluated using the Trauma Symptom Child Checklist (Briere, 1995), a common instrument used in trauma centers, before and after their participation in the 10-week group cycle. The results of this exploratory study document a reduction in the symptoms commonly associated with childhood sexual abuse following the art therapy intervention.