Characteristics Of Art Therapy And Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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This paper was developed from findings of an extended study propagates combining art therapy with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as effective treatment model for sexual abused children. It was chosen for this literature review as the paper focuses on the unique characteristics of art therapy that aid in making this an effective model (Pifalo, 2006; Pifalo, 2007). This paper extrapolates that sexually abused exhibit a wide range of symptoms that can be identified under the diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The article explains that art therapy capitalizes on a child’s natural ability to create, thereby facilitating rapport building, within a short period of time (Pifalo, 2007). The paper includes illustrations to provide evidence on how art therapy speeds affective processing Figure 1: “Inside/Outside Box” (Pifalo, 2007, p172). Through the shoe box example, it suggests that an ordinary shoebox with its “inside/out” aspect can provide a solid vehicle to express and contain feelings that are appropriate for sharing (Pifalo, 2007). The study further claims that by helping the child identify and express the emotion, art therapy facilitates coping skills. By combined effect of desensitising trauma and reconstructing the trauma narrative that child is able to process the traumatic experience without significant emotional distress (Pifalo, 2007). The participants in the study were children between the ages of 8-10, 11-13 and 14- 16, who met for 8 weeks for trauma focussed group treatment combining art therapy and cognitive behaviour therapy as intervention. The children were assessed using Trauma Symptom checklist (TSCC) before and after their participation in the treatment. This scale was chosen to evaluate a total of 12 subscales working systematically through range of emotions, behaviours and symptoms (Pifalo, 2007). Following an 8-week cycle of trauma focused group treatment group participants measured statistically significant reductions on 9 of the 10 TSCC subscales including: anxiety, depression, anger, post-traumatic stress disorder and sexual distress (Pifalo, 2007). Murphy (1998) 2008 This article developed in 1998, published online in 2008, discusses the
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