Using Art Therapy to Address Bullying

traumainformedtherapy

Bully Free ZoneSafran and Safran (2008) note that victims of bullying can benefit from opportunities to express themselves in a safe, creative way. In particular, art expression offers opportunities to communicate and explore more deep-seated feelings about being bullied, emotions that may not be addressed in school-based anti-bullying programs. Fear, worry, confusion, and rage toward the perpetrator and some well-meaning teachers and counselors who fail to protect the victim may emerge in a drawing or collage before articulated with words.

Safran and Safran recommend individual and/or group art therapy for bullying victims; they emphasize that drawing can be one way to eventually explore self-image, perceptions of bullies, and a trauma narrative. The latter is particularly important with those children who can benefit from telling their stories and sharing their images with either the helping professional (Malchiodi, 2001) or with peers who may be able to empathize with the victim.

Collage is another…

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