Highlighting Art Therapy for Domestic Violence – The Art in Response to Violence Conference

At the recent Art in Response to Violence Conference at Northeastern Illinois University, there were wonderful presentations from art therapists who work in Domestic and Interpersonal violence. 

Tony LaBrosse and Laura Jacob presented on The Use of Response Art to Process Interpersonal Violence.  Their presentation incorporated a lituerature review, illustrating image making to support self-care and facilitated an experiental. 

Elzbieta Kazmierczak presented on Creativity, Self-Exploration, and Embodied Experience in Projectice Drawing and Writing: Influence of Trauma and Abuse on Self-Perception. She presented an experimental study examining projective self-portraits comprised of drawing and writing to determine relationships between creativity, traumatic life experience, and self-perception.  Her findings showed that past visual art experience and certain personality traits correlate with the creativity of the works, whereas gender and negative life events correlate with self-exploration. 

Stephanie Wise and Emily Nash did both a presentation and workshop entitled: Bridging to Hope: Transforming the Aftermath of Violence through Multi-Model Metaphoric Intervention within the Group.  Their workshops demonstrated the power of metaphoric intervention within a therapeutic group experience. 

Jo Anne Smith presented on Change the World One Needle at a Time.  Smith’s workshop highlighted the collaboration between a yarn store, the Women’s Justice Program and the impact on the women with violent paths.  She found that through knitting, they are able to focus on their own spiritual development, chanel their energy in a positive manner and realize that “I can’t” can be shifted to positive energy and determination to do things differently in their lives.

Lisa Frohmann presented on Representations of Vicarious Trauma:  DV Counselor’s Photo-narratives.  Her paper is drawn from a photo-narrative project with seven domestic violence counselors.  It is an offshoot of a larger photo-voice project with immigrant women who are domestic violence survivors. 


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