Contemporary Art Therapy with Adolescents offers practical and imaginative solutions to the multifaceted challenges that clinicians face when treating young people. The author fuses the contemporary theories of clinical treatment with the creative processes of art therapy to arrive at a synthesis which yields successful outcomes when working with adolescents. Clinicians of allied disciplines, particularly art therapists, will find practical suggestions for using imagery to enrich their relationships with teenaged clients. The process of using art-making therapeutically, and the challenges of applying creativity in the current mental health world, are explored.
Shirley Riley reviews current theories on adolescent development and therapy, and emphasizes the primary importance of relying on the youths’ own narrative in the context of their social and economic backgrounds. She has found this approach preferential to following pre-designed assessment directives as a primary function of art therapy. Family, group and individual treatment are examined, as is the adolescent’s response to short- and long-term treatment in residential and therapeutic school settings. The book is firmly rooted in Riley’s clinical experience of working with this age group, and her proven ability to combine contemporary theories of adolescent treatment with inventive and effective art expressions.