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Art Therapy in the Early Years: Therapeutic interventions with infants, toddlers and their families

$74.54  Paperback
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Julia Meyerowitz-Katz, Dean Reddick Australian author

  • Art Therapy in the Early Years

216 pages
Interest Age: 1 to 5
ISBN: 9781138814776

Art therapy with infants, toddlers and their families is an exciting and developing area of practice. With contributions from Australia, the United Kingdom and Spain, Art Therapy in the Early Years has an international flavour. The authors describe clinical art psychotherapy practice with children under five and their families in settings that include children in care, mental health clinics, paediatric wards, pre-schools, and early intervention programs.

Divided into three sections, Art Therapy in the Early Years presents different clinical environments in which art psychotherapy with this client group is found:

  • individual art therapy;
  • group art therapy;
  • parent-child dyad and family art therapy.

The book proposes that within these different contexts, the adaptive possibilities inherent in art psychotherapy provide opportunities for therapeutic growth for young children and their families.

Art Therapy in the Early Years will be of interest to art therapists working with children; students and practitioners from creative arts therapies; psychologists and psychotherapists; social workers; pre-school teachers; child psychiatrists, clinical supervisors, and other professionals working in the early years settings.

Table of Contents

List of illustrations

Foreword - Caroline Case


Introduction - Julia Meyerowitz-Katz and Dean Reddick

Section 1. Individual art therapy with infants and toddlers

  1. An Odd Mirror - Dean Reddick. UK
  2. On mark making and leaving a mark. Processing the experience of art therapy with preschool children. - Pensri Rowe. Australia
  3. ‘Cheerful and not Cheerful’: Art Psychotherapy on a Paediatric Ward - Susan Rudnik. UK
  4. ‘I do dots . . .’: art therapy with an Australian Aboriginal preschool child. - Celia Conolly and Judy King. Australia

Section 2. Family and dyad art therapy with infants, toddlers and their parents

  1. Transitions: Moving from Infancy to latency through symbolisation and the acquisition of language. - Tessa Dalley and Jen Bromham. UK
  2. The imprint of another life: assessment and dyadic parent child art psychotherapy with an adoptive family. - Anthea Hendry. UK
  3. Amazing Mess: Mother’s get in touch with their infants through the vitality of painting together. - Hilary Hosea.UK.
  4. The crisis of the cream cakes. An infant’s food refusal as a representation of intergenerational trauma - Julia Meyerowitz-Katz. UK/Australia

Section 3. Group art therapy with infants and toddlers.

  1. Building a fort: art therapy with a group of toddlers going through the adoption process. - Marcela Andrade del Corro. Spain
  2. Making waves. An art psychotherapist’s retrospective review of counter transference drawings made in a preschool setting - Julie Green. Australia
  3. Side-by-side: An early years art therapy group with a parental group alongside - Alice Rayment. UK

Conclusion - Julia Meyerowitz-Katz Australia and Dean Reddick UK.

Notes on Contributors


"Based on a wealth of experience, this is an excellent and lively contribution to the art therapy literature. Theoretically informed and clinically focussed, a compelling portrait emerges of the very sensitive work of psychoanalytically informed practice with very young children and their families. Illustrated with pictures and deeply moving case examples, an international group of specialists reveals the intense involvement of the therapists and their clients. This accessible book will be indispensible reading for art therapists, counsellors, and psychotherapists, especially those working with children and their parents. "
- Joy Schaverien, PhD, Jungian analyst, art psychotherapist and author of Boarding School Syndrome: The Psychological Trauma of the Privileged Child

"This is a landmark text for art therapy practitioners, clinicians, researchers and students engaged in working with the very young. The increasing significance and relevance of art psychotherapy to address mental health needs of infants, toddlers and their families is beautifully demonstrated in this new text. I am pleased to read chapters by several fellow Australians, therapists whose work locates art therapy in the mainstream of child and family services in this country. This is evidence of the advance of the profession world-wide into the suite of clinical options and practices which lend flexibility and adaptability to the needs of our small people and their families."
- Patricia Fenner, PhD, Department of Public Health, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia

"This groundbreaking collection of papers will touch everyone who reads it, through the therapists’ tender description and thoughtful analysis of their work with some of the most basic and most powerful of human emotions: love, loss, rivalry and the struggle with the inexpressible. One of the many valuable aspects of this collection is its continuous focus on the art as well as the therapy, the materials, the art works, and the interactions which produce them. This collection will be found relevant and enjoyable by a wide readership of teachers, early years practitioners, health visitors, family support workers, psychologists and everyone who is concerned with the emotional wellbeing and resilience of very young children and their families."
- Julian Grenier, Headteacher of Sheringham Nursery School and Children’s Centre, National Teaching School, Newham, East London, National Leader of Education and former National Chair of Early Education

"This book is a welcome and important exploration of art psychotherapy with very young children. Art therapy has its roots in the creative interpersonal relationship between the infant and their primary carer, and this book productively opens up this 'in between' space, extending theory and practice in the process. It offers a wealth of insights not only for clinicians working in the sector but for all art therapists engaged with the infantile within their clients. No doubt it will be a rich resource for professionals and students alike."
- Jonathan Isserow, Convener, MA Art Psychotherapy Programme, University of Roehampton, London

"This book provides insights and narratives for those who work with young children and their families offering research, theory and practice, illustrating how young children make meaning of their world through thoughtful art experiences. The book invites readers to better understand how therapeutic interventions may be restorative and healing when young children are invited to engage with art materials, within a supportive setting, attending to their individual developmental needs. A book early childhood educators will no doubt come to value and refer to as it may shape and inform their own personal approach and practice."
- Cathy Milwidsky, Director of Early Learning, Moriah College