Cathy Malchiodi which I’ve spoken about a number of times here, writes a review of the benefits of drawing on symptoms of trauma. She lists the following partial benefits:
1) Drawing taps implicit memory. Trauma and drawing are largely sensory experiences; drawing pictures about aspects of « what happened » prompts sensory memories of traumatic events.
2) Drawing actively engages children in the process of repair and recovery. It provides the possibility to move from a passive to an active role in the treatment process.
3) Drawing provides a symbolic representation of the trauma experience in a concrete, external format.
4) Drawing makes us a witness to children’s trauma experiences.
5) Drawing increases children’s verbal reports about emotionally laden events. Research supports that drawing encourages children to provide more details and to organize their narratives in a more manageable way than children who are asked only to talk about traumatic experiences.
6) Drawing assists in reduction of reactivity (anxiety) to trauma memories through repeated visual re-exposure in a medium that is perceived and felt by the client to be safe.
You can read the full article posted on her blog.
17 sept 2009