• Art therapy with refugee children: a qualitative study explored through the lens of art therapists and their experiences

      Akthar, Zahra; Lovell, Andy; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2018-11-09)
      This article sets out to explore the use of art therapy with refugee children, from the perspective of art therapists and their experiences. Three semi-structured interviews were conducted to gain insights by capturing experiences and stories. Using thematic analysis, five themes were identified: (1) giving voice; (2) rebuilding trust, opening wounds; (3) sharing stories, healing pain; (4) exploring identity, discovering new-self; and (5) understanding art therapy. Upon reflection, two key aspects of art therapy were established, these were identified as: (1) providing refugee children with a safe space to heal and discover new-self, and (2) giving refugee children a voice to express and share stories. Despite the last of the five themes (understanding art therapy) being established as a factor that limits the use of art therapy, this has created an avenue for further research. From the findings, it was concluded that art therapy can be a useful form of psychotherapy for refugee children. Art therapy can provide these children with a safe space to heal, and give them a voice to be heard.