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Vol 21, No 3, Article 08: PDF

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‘A Search for Meaning’: Group Art Psychotherapy for Children with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after a Natural Disaster: Elisabeth Ioannides

Abstract: Natural disasters are sadly inevitable, and they can also have a far-reaching effect on human life and activity. Indeed, every human being will face at least one natural hazard during his or her lifetime, even indirectly. This paper briefly explores the history of natural disasters and outlines how such disasters can affect people, giving rise to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Emphasis is placed on the effect of PTSD on young children. The important contribution of group psychotherapy — particularly when this involves art psychotherapy — to the treatment of PTSD is also analysed through the examination of case studies. Finally, a proposal is made for the realization of an art psychotherapy group for children who might have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, induced by the large-scale destruction of parts of the natural environment and the dangers faced during the 2007 Peloponnese forest fires, in Greece.
Keywords: Post-traumatic stress disorder, natural disasters, group art psychotherapy, children

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