The Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) finds insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of art therapy to treat symptomatic youth who have been exposed to traumatic events.
The CPSTF has related findings for the following types of therapies:
The Community Guide conducted systematic reviews of five interventions commonly used to reduce psychological harm from traumatic events among children and adolescents: play therapy, art therapy, psychological debriefing, psychodynamic therapy, pharmacological therapies.
A traumatic event is one in which a person experiences or witnesses actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others. Trauma may take the form of single or repeated events that are natural or human-made (e.g., tsunami or bombing) and intentional or unintentional (e.g., rape versus car crashes or severe illness). Traumatic exposures may have only temporary effects or result in no apparent harm. However, traumatic exposures may result in psychological harm and lead to long term health consequences.
Read the CPSTF finding [PDF - 127 KB].