Practice to make a difference.

Using Art Therapy with Diverse Populations: Crossing Cultures and Abilities

Whether working in urban areas with high levels of cultural diversity, providing art therapy to ‘unique’ populations such as prisoners or asylums seekers, or introducing art therapy programs to parts of the world in which it is not yet established, it is essential that therapists understand the importance of practicing in a culturally sensitive manner. This comprehensive book considers how culture impacts the practice of art therapy in a variety of settings.


With contributions from experienced art therapists who have worked in diverse environments, this book attempts to understand and highlight the specific cultural, subcultural and ethnic influences that inform art therapy treatment. It addresses variable factors including setting, population, environment and ability, and how they influence art therapy approaches. It also considers how cultural differences can impact physical art making through choices of colour, symbol and metaphor. Each chapter provides a framework showing how art therapy techniques have been used in order to successfully work with distinct populations. This book will provide practitioners with ideas for how to adapt art therapy training and approaches to suit the setting and meet the needs of a vast range of populations.

Full of informative case studies, this book will be invaluable reading for art therapists and students of art therapy.

Author Bio:

Paula Howie, ATR-BC, LPC received her Master's in Art Therapy from George Washington University in 1975. She received her ATR in 1977, became a Board Certified Art Therapist in 1994, a Licensed Professional Counselor (DC, 1997) and in VA (2008). She directed the Art Therapy Service at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from 1979 to 2002. From 1982 to the present, she has been a part time faculty and currently holds the title of Associate Professorial Lecturer in the Art Therapy Graduate Program at George Washington University. Paula has held numerous positions in AATA to include President from 2005-2007. She currently maintains a private practice in Washington, DC, where she focuses on the treatment of trauma.
Sangeeta Prasad, ATR, is an art therapist with experience working in India and the United States of America.
Jen Kristel has a Masters in Expressive Therapies from Lesley University. For the last 20 years, she has worked in clinical and non-clinical settings using the expressive arts and Playback Theatre, a form of theatre improvisation that uses personal stories of the audience to support community building and healing.

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