Art Educational Therapy
Art educational therapy was developed in Unnur Ottarsdottir's research, where the aim was to design, study and test an art therapy method that facilitates coursework learning and enhanced children's emotional well-being. The theory of art educational therapy is partly based on the theories of writing-images and memory drawing.
Memory Drawing
Systematic research comparing the effects of drawing and writing words for memory was carried out for the first time in the world in the year 2000 and was conducted by Unnur Ottarsdottir. To this day, no other research has been conducted globally that we know of on long-term memory and drawing for as long as three and nine weeks.
Research Through Art
Unnur Ottarsdottir has used art making in her research, e.g. when creating diagrams and conceptual images as well as for emotional processing. She has reviewed the subject in published writings. Art making creates a space for the unknown, at the same time as it clears a way for the formation of new knowledge.


Book chapter about memory drawing and ethics in a book published by Routledge.

A quantitate and qualitative research into memory drawing conducted by Ottarsdottir in 2000 is the subject of this chapter. The study was the first comprehensive research that systematically compared the impact of drawing and writing on memory functions. The memory drawing study is therefore a milestone in the history of art therapy, education, psychology and psychotherapy. Memory drawing is […]

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Book chapter about art therapy for individuals suffering from depression, from a book published by Routledge

Children who had experienced stress and/or trauma and had specific learning difficulties were selected to participate in research investigating a therapeutic method comprising art therapy and education. Art Educational Therapy (AET) emerged through the research in which integrated emotional and intellectual processes are worked with simultaneously. Oli, who took part in the study, was depressed […]

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Scientific article on the first structured study of drawing and long-term memory

Quantitative and qualitative research, into memory drawing, which was conducted in the year 2000, is reviewed in the article. The results of the quantitative research showed that drawing is effective for memorising. Nine weeks after the original memorisation the children recalled the median of five times more words that they had drawn than ones they had […]

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Book chapter about grounded theory and drawn diagrams in a book about research methodology

In this chapter Unnur Óttarsdóttir explains how she used drawn diagrams in a research where the methodology of grounded theory was applied.   The drawings were applied for: Creating concepts Creating in-depth understanding of phenomena Abstract description Examining the connection between phenomena, categories and concepts Building theories Facilitating creativity and intuition.  Unnur Óttarsdottir (2013) Grunduð kenning og teiknaðar skýringarmyndir. (Grounded […]

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