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Developmental Art Therapy

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Jen Kirkpatrick

on 21 June 2014

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Transcript of Developmental Art Therapy

Developmental Art Therapy
"The process of drawing, painting, or constructing is a complex one in which the child (or adult) brings together diverse elements of his or her experience to make a new meaningful whole. In the process...he or she has given us more than a picture or a sculpture; he or she has given us a part of him or herself: how he or she thinks, how he or she feels, he or she sees...Creative activities become meaningful only when the dynamic interdependence among growth, development, and creation is understood."

(Lowenfeld and Brittain, 1970 as cited in Williams and Woods, 1977)
(The Second) Who(s)?
Who are Susan Aach-Feldman and Carole Kunkle-Miller and how have they contributed to the field of Developmental Art Therapy?

Aach-Feldman and Kunkle-Miller collaborated to create an assessment for a child’s development, which involves the progression of a non-directive interview to a structured interview. Their assessment includes two or three of the following:

1. Nondirective work with traditional and pre-art material – Therapist offers a wide selection of materials both art and pre-art media

2. Structured work with traditional art media – Therapist offers traditional art media with specific instructions or exercise so that the therapist can assess and identify skill development. The therapist will request the client to manipulate a material with a specific directive

3. Structured work with non-traditional, pre- art media – Therapist offers non-traditional art media to observe the client’s interaction with the material to assess organizational, orientation and manipulation skills.
Sensorimotor Phase in Developmental Art Therapy
* development of a child’s motor, cognitive and emotional growth

The child explores the external world as it relates to their body, by putting materials in their mouth and on skin. It is important that he or she is provided with materials that are safe and digestible.

development of language, play (pretend) and beginning use of symbols

Child' s acquisition of language becomes part of how the child engages with others. Symbolic ideas and knowledge become prevalent. Materials used during the Preoperational Stage can move slowly out of pre-art materials and into more traditional media
What populations benefit from Developmental Art Therapy Treatment?
Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Intellectual Disabilities - Impairments in adaptive functioning
Communication Disorders - language, speech, sound, social communication
Autism Spectrum Disorder - social and communication interaction impairments
Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder - impairing levels of inattention, disorganization and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity
Motor Disorders - coordination, stereotypic and tic
Specified Learning Disorders - specified by individual’s ability to process/perceive info correctly

(American Psychiatric Association, 2013, p. 31) )
What is Developmental Art Therapy?
Developmental Art Therapy is a psycho-educational approach, described by Aach-Feldman and Kunkle-Miller (cited in Rubin, 2001), which fosters growth by facilitating art therapy exercises, for impaired children and adults who are in need of assistance to improve both sensory and kinesthetic skills, in early developmental stages.

Jean Piaget (1896-1980) Switzerland was an influential developmental psychologist who was known for his research on theorizing how children attain knowledge. In developmental art therapy Piaget’s “Sensorimotor” and “Preoperational” phases are critical when assessing a child because they are the baseline for the normal developing child.

(The first) Who?
Jean Piaget's
Sensorimotor and Preoperational Stages of Development
1st Stage

Sensorimotor Phase is the first of Piaget’s theory that lasts from birth to about age two. During this stage the child tries to make sense of his or her world through sensory and motor activities. The child learns about his or her environment through using skills such as looking, grasping sucking and listening.

2nd Stage

Preoperational Phase occurs between the ages of 2 and 7. During this stage Piaget theorizes that a child develops language and conversation. He or She is not yet able to have organized thoughts or logic. The child learns symbols and discovers roles through playtime pretending.
Why this kind of assessment?
To observe the individual’s progression in how they interact with the both structured and non-structured directives, as well as different materials. The assessment is to get a better understanding of the baseline functioning of the individual as it compares to a child’s normal developmental course.
TRADITIONAL MEDIA: Crayons, Markers, Paint, Pencils, Clay, Pastels, Chalk

PRE-ART MEDIA: Safe digestible materials such as, flour, cornstarch, salt, cornmeal, oatmeal, pudding, Jell-O, shaving cream, crazy foam, sand paper, fur, feathers, beans, noodles, spaghetti, sand, water (Lonker as cited in Aach-Feldman & Kunkle-Miller, 1982)

Common Treatment Goals:

Differentiating self from object

Improving basic functioning motor skills

Sensory exercises to improve orientation

Parallel functioning and independent functioning activities

How to Achieve Treatment Goals:
Exploratory exercises like touching, smelling, listening, observing and sometimes tasting the materials in art therapy, mirroring or imitating play
exercises & continue by offering challenges, which captures the client’s attention with more options to reinforce
Preoperational Phase in Developmental Art Therapy
Common Treatment Goals:
promoting independence

acquiring and practicing the beginning of representational language

build self-confidence through independence

organize and differentiate feelings

How to Achieve Treatment Goals:
exercises that offer the client to identify emotions to the affective qualities

engage with the materials

encouraging the client to express themselves through art media

Thoughts & Inspirations
Rubin (1975)explains the benefits of developmental art therapy experience as follows;

A means to explore and find pleasure in the environment, a way to control and have mastery over something, a means to experience success and achieve skill, a means to ventilate and express feelings, a way to organize and obtain order from conclusion, a means to experience, a means to self-awareness and self-esteem, a way to create and a way to elaborate on the real world.

(Williams and Wood, 1977, p. 4)
Aach-Feldman & Kunkle-Miller (2001). Developmental Art Therapy. In Rubin, Judith Aron., (Eds.) Approaches to Art Therapy: Theory and Technique, Philadelphia, PA: Brunner-Routledge

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Williams, Geraldine H. & Wood, Mary M., (1977) Developmental Art Therapy, Austin, TX: Pro-ed
(continued thoughts & Inspirations)
Through a personal conversation, Henry Dupont explained to Williams & Wood (1977) that there are five specific contributions of art to development at every stage.

Dupont explains that art provides a child or adult the ability to create form to their feelings, to foster and develop skill in communicating their feelings and ideas to others. Dupont made a very important point that explains that art becomes a source for success, because there is no right or wrong way to create an art production

(Dupont as cited in Williams and Wood, 1977, p. 7).
Curriculum Elements for Developmental Art Therapy

Behavior = Doing
Communication = Saying
Socialization = Caring
(Pre)Academics = Thinking

The art therapy treatment goals should adhere to these four areas of curriculum in every art experience to foster maximum opportunities in development.

Williams & Wood, 1977
Behavior= Doing
The awareness to one's environment and how he or she physically and adaptively responds.

Processes begin to grow when client respond to different stimulants with basic motor responses, body control, differentiating what is and is not essential for an activity & participating in group settings.

Communication = Saying
Creating interpersonal processes in both verbal and nonverbal communications. It is the overall effort to engage and interact with another child and/or adult.

Examples of communications are achieved by gestures, watching and imitations others, producing speech/sound.

The client's engagement in communication increases their skills in describing feelings and externalizing their processing of information.
Socialization = Caring
Socialization leads to relationships, which create parallel functions with adults and peers. The goal is to develop the skills to interact with a different number of people.

Becoming aware and interested in self and self with others. Common caring characteristics involve activities based on sharing, taking suggestions from others, recognizing others and their characteristics, development of friendships and becoming a support for others.
(Pre)academics = Thinking
Processes used for cognitive functioning which foster the learning of symbolic language and content.

Processes include eye-hand and perceptual skills, body coordination, memory, differentiating sensory sensations modes, concept building, organizing thoughts, identifying symbols in language, pictures and objects. The goal is to continue with exercises that build the client's ability to identify feelings , expressive language and symbols.
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