We use cookies to improve your website experience. To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. By closing this message, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
International Journal of Art Therapy

For a Special Issue on
Art therapy with people who have experienced trauma

Manuscript deadline
05 September 2022

Cover image - International Journal of Art Therapy

Special Issue Editor(s)

Ali Coles, Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust
[email protected]

Dr Naomi Murphy, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust

Neil Winter,

Submit an ArticleVisit JournalArticles

Art therapy with people who have experienced trauma

Art therapy with people who have experienced trauma

Trauma is caused by events and circumstances which are physically or emotionally harmful, and which lead to lasting adverse effects. Trauma-focused psychological therapy aims to help people who have been affected by trauma. This special issue of the International Journal of Art Therapy seeks to advance our understanding of how art therapy can help adults and/or children who have experienced trauma.

We are looking for: ethical, high quality research papers; innovative practice papers (case reports) which include service user feedback; and original, evidence-informed opinion pieces exploring theoretical paradigms. We seek to include a diversity of papers in terms of authorship, client group and context, and to foreground service user and lived experience perspectives. We welcome submissions which are co-produced with service users.

Possible themes

Whilst some possible themes are outlined below, we will consider papers on any aspect of art therapy with adults and/or children who have experienced trauma, including papers about art therapy pedagogy.

A recent systematic literature review of the impact of art therapy on adults with a diagnosis of PTSD (Gabriel Schnitzer, Sue Holttum and Val Huet (2021), International Journal of Art Therapy, 26:4, 147-160) suggested four themes, one or more of which could be explored in submitted papers:

  • impact on symptoms
  • processing traumatic memories
  • fostering a holistic view of self
  • increased well-being and more positive view of self.

Some specific issues which might be addressed in papers include:

  • feelings of guilt/shame
  • dissociation/hyper-arousal
  • neuroscience eg polyvagal theory
  • creating/maintaining emotional stability
  • interpersonal safety within the therapy
  • validation, acceptance and normalisation (within therapy and within the wider social context)
  • beliefs about the self and others
  • the trauma of experiences of racism
  • therapist experiences of trauma.

These suggestions are not intended to limit submissions, and all research, practice or opinion papers on the theme of ‘Art Therapy with people who have experienced trauma’ are welcomed.

Guest Editors:

Ali Coles – Art Psychotherapist, Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust; Visiting Lecturer, University of South Wales; IJAT Associate Editor; co-author of ‘‘The silent intermediary’: a co-authored exploration of a client’s experience of art psychotherapy for C-PTSD' (International Journal of Art Therapy, 26:1-2, 29-36) and co-editor of Art Psychotherapy and Innovation: New Territories, Techniques and Technologies (Jury and Coles, July 2022, Jessica Kingsley Publishers).

Naomi Murphy – Consultant Clinical and Forensic Psychologist; Honorary Professor of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University; co-editor of Treating Personality Disorder: Creating robust services for clients with complex mental health needs (Murphy and McVey, 2010, Routledge) as well as a number of book chapters on the subject of working with people with complex PTSD.

Neil Winter – Barrister (LLM Construction Law); co-author of ‘‘The silent intermediary’: a co-authored exploration of a client’s experience of art psychotherapy for C-PTSD' (International Journal of Art Therapy, 26:1-2, 29-36) and co-author of chapter on ‘Curiosity, creativity and innovation in art psychotherapy’ in Art Psychotherapy and Innovation: New Territories, Techniques and Technologies (Jury and Coles, July 2022, Jessica Kingsley Publishers).

Submission Instructions

Submission Instructions

Paper submissions

Please download the appropriate IJAT paper template (research, practice or opinion) from the Instructions for Authors to ensure that your manuscript meets the requirements for submission.

Article submissions open: 1 March 2023

Article submissions close: 31 March 2023

Expected publication: Spring 2024

New authors

We encourage new authors, particularly from regions that are underrepresented in art therapy literature. New authors that might require writing mentors should download the appropriate IJAT paper template (research, practice or opinion) from the Instructions for Authors to prepare a draft manuscript to submit as an application for a mentor and email to [email protected]. Please note that places are limited so we cannot guarantee that all applicants will be allocated a mentor.

Deadline to email draft manuscript to apply for a mentor: 5 September 2022

Art-based submissions

In addition to journal submissions, everyone is welcome to submit art-based responses to the theme of this special issue via the below online galleries. Submissions can include photography, still images of artwork, or video art (max 1 minute).

All artworks which meet the gallery requirements will be included in the online exhibitions.

One artwork from the online galleries will be selected as Cover Art for the this special issue.

See submission guidance and links to each gallery below:

Art Therapists’ Art: www.baat.org/About-BAAT/Blog/243/Art-Therapists-Art-Gallery

Open Gallery: www.baat.org/About-BAAT/Blog/246/BAAT-Open-Gallery

Art submissions open now until: 30 October 2023

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article

We use cookies to improve your website experience. To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. By closing this message, you are consenting to our use of cookies.