Document Type


Publication details

Kelly, J 2015, 'The art therapy encounter : an investigation of the experience of art therapy in a high school setting in Australia', PhD thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.

Copyright J Kelly 2015


This investigation privileges the voices of 10 young people, who, during their high school years, experienced art therapy, which is used minimally in that context as it is an emergent profession in Australia. It documents insights from 14 professional art therapists who work extensively with young people including the author. A naturalistic paradigm is utilised with interviews and art-based data, including reflections on artwork and response art. Art therapy provides young people with a safe environment within which they are free to express emotions that they do not or cannot express verbally. Tacit communication is significant in art therapy for this population.